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Solar, wind systems pose new dangers for NJ firefighters

Firefighters can't cut off energy being collected by the panels, but there usually is a way to stop it somewhere between the panels and the electric meter

By Richard Degener
The Press of Atlantic City

LOWER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — As fire calls go, this one on a cold January night earlier this year was most unusual for Villas Fire Chief Richard Harron Jr.

Stiff winds were causing a Bay Drive windmill to spin out of control. The brake failed and the turbine was sending large amounts of electricity into connections in the homeowner's garage. If there was an off switch somewhere, Harron didn't know where it was. Even after an electrical panel was pulled on the 10-kilowatt windmill, the system was still creating electricity. The windmill company had to be called to come and cut the connections.

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