AUBURN, Mass. -The Town of Auburn potentially lost up to two months of wind turbine data, after it was reported the SD memory card was stolen from the tower’s site.
According to Town Planner Adam R. Burney, the BOS requested a quarterly update on the data collection from the meteorological wind test tower on Prospect Hill behind the Home Depot Corporation.
“I got up to the MET tower to find that the batteries and SD Card in the data collector were missing. All of the data that was on that SD Card is potentially gone,” Burney told Board of Selectmen on Monday.
The tower from the Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. of Ontario, N.Y. consists of a weather station an anemometer to measure climate data and wind speeds in the Auburn area. The test tower, installed in August, is funded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and will provide data and information for a 12-month feasibility study to determine the possible installation of a permanent wind turbine on the site.
The consultants forwarded a new card overnight and the following day it was installed.
According to Burney, the last time the consultants visited the tower was the first week in October.
“Potentially, we lost two months of data,” he said. “It appears it was a crime of opportunity.”
SED consultants will determine by January of 2012 if any of the previous data can be recovered. Burney does not anticipate the loss of data will not be a major concern in regards to the data collection as a whole.
“What may happen is, we may have to extend for two months at the back-end in order to makeup that data,” he said.
The company may opt to utilize whatever data is provided in order to determine comparisons to their 15 year database history on file within their system.
“Two months would only be a small hiccup in that data collection,” he said.
According to SED, there have been no reports of stolen data cards or equipment in the past five years. Burney suspects it may have been an individual or group out on nature walk that decided to take the card.
“It’s an unfortunate event,” he told the board.
As project manager, Burney assured the board the data box is now locked and should remain secure throughout the remainder of the study. He also intended to check on the tower regularly to make sure the tower, data and equipment are intact.
“I was assured there would be no financial penalty to the town,” he said.