Planning Commission Meeting

In an effort to be more civil-minded, I have had every intention of attending a city council meeting in Eagle Mountain since we moved there in May. For one reason or another, I couldn’t attend the June, July, August, or September meeting. Wow! That’s more than I wanted to miss. I was really disappointed last week when I didn’t get to attend last week’s city council meeting due to a church commitment. But, I found out this past weekend there was a Planning Commission meeting. Wow! That sounded…well…to be honest, it sounded boring. But, I am trying to be very involved with my community.

So, I went to the Planning Commission meeting last night. I got to listen to them discuss what regulations could possibly be for windmills to generate ‘green’ electricity. Now, you can see some of my feelings on green here. But, anyway, I was very intrigued at the regulations on how and where you could put them up that were being discussed. It was being proposed that on a 1-5 acre lot the windmills had to be at least 45 feet tall, 65 for places greater than 5 acres. They had to be 25 feet away from any other structure.

Now, I may have missed something here, but I was interested to know how sturdy a windmill is. Just in case there’s an earthquake or someone slingshotting cows at these poles, what happens when the windmill falls. Now, obviously, it’s going to kill a house or barn that is 25 feet away. But, I was more interested in the power lines that were nearby. Power lines don’t normally have anything under them. However, how high are power lines? I swear, I heard the guy state that power lines were 75-80 feet high. Well, I didn’t believe that (and I do sincere hope that he meant that these windmills needed to be 75-80 feet away from power lines). Regardless, power lines need to be at least 37.42 feet above the ground for the cow-hit windmill pole that leans its way briskly to the ground to not hit and kill our power lines. Not to mention, the power line pole will be falling like a domino if the sole earthquake struck pole falls to the ground.

How did I come up with 38.5 feet. Simple. Geometry. You take the  power line being X feet above ground. There is a distance on the ground of 25 feet from the power line to the windmill. The windmill is 45 feet high. If it falls, it will hit the power line if the power line is, again, X feet above ground. You use the basic formula for a triangle with a right angle, which is: a²+b²=c². In this formula a=25 and c=45. You end up with finding the square root of 1400, which is roughly 37.42.

Am I green? No. Am I concerned that big poles are going to fall on me? No. Am I concerned that the engineers of these windmills could’ve been the same that built the Leaning Tower of Pisa? No. Am I concerned about saving money? Eh. That’s a topic for another blog.

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One Response

  1. I have a friend that works for Edison who can tell you exactly how high power lines need to be, what the requirements for the poles and cables are etc. These are federal regulations so it doesn’t matter that you don’t have Edison in Utah. When we drove through WY on the way to SD all she did was comment on the power lines (granted, there really wasn’t anything else outside the vehicle to talk about). 🙂

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