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Lightning damage to turbine covered  

Instead of generating electricity, one of the turbines in the Erie Shores Wind Farm was crippled by it.

A lightning strike bent one of the blades of a turbine on April 26 at 11:30 p.m. The turbine is located south of Nova Scotia Line and west of Port Burwell.

David Price of Clean Power Income Fund, which owns the wind farm, said the machines are designed to withstand lightning, but only to a certain extent.

“If the lightning hits the machine itself, it’s not a problem,” he said. “If it hits the blade, it can’t withstand that kind of energy.”

Mike Crawley, president and CEO of AIM PowerGen told the News the wind turbine performed just as designed to when hit.

“The blade took a direct hit from lightning and buckled, but did not separate from the rest of the turbine,” he said.

“And the turbine itself stopped working as soon as it detected an imbalance.”

Estimated damage is in the range of $200,000. The loss is insured and it’s expected to take three to four weeks before the turbine is operational again. Replacement of the blade will mean bringing in a large crane.

Price said the company had budgeted on three such losses per year. Last Thursday’s lightning strike was the first serious damage to one of the turbines since the wind farm became operational in June 2006.

With the one-year anniversary approaching rapidly, Price said the company is on target to meet its power generation projections.

– With files from Stephan Kleiser

By Jeff Helsdon
Staff Writer


4 May 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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