CONNEAUT – The wind turbine struck by lightning this past summer sustained considerable damage but poses no safety threat to people, according to a message from the company that built the generator.
Technicians with NexGen Energy of Colorado have inspected the generator adjacent to the city’s waste water treatment plant, stated a message from Bruce Bredickas Jr, executive vice-president, to Conneaut City Manager Timothy Eggleston.
While the damage to a blade is significant, there is “no immediate safety concern,” Bredickas wrote.
Bredickas was responding to a recent message from Eggleston expressing concern with the turbine’s condition.
NexGen estimates the repair will cost $500,000, and is awaiting word from its insurance carrier, according to the note.
Another piece of laminate that covers the wooden blade fell off during recent high winds, Eggleston said at Monday’s City Council work session.
The bolt struck the blade in late August, blasting away some of the laminate and splintering some of the wood. The turbine has been shut down since the incident.
The 400-kilowatt turbine supplies some of the electricity used at the treatment plant. The plant is receiving electricity from a different source until the turbine is operational, officials said.
Lightning damaged a control box that links the plant to the generator, Eggleston has said.
The lakefront turbine was constructed in early 2010, one of two machines erected by NexGen. The second is a larger turbine at Conneaut Middle School that has been plagued with problems since its arrival.
NexGen absorbed the cost of construction and hookup of the generators. The city and school district agreed to purchase electricity created by the machines for 10 years.
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