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Dewlay turbine hit by lightning

Dewlay’s pioneering wind turbine stopped spinning last week after being struck by lightning.

Staff at the cheese factory arrived at work last Tuesday, December 6, following a stormy night and noticed the turbine was not turning.

Passers-by also noticed and contacted The Courier to query if the blades had been ‘turned off’ because of the exceptionally high winds.

When The Courier contacted Dewlay a spokeswoman revealed the lightning strike during the night was the cause of the stoppage.

She said: “As turbines are prone to lightning strikes, the Dewlay turbine is fitted with lightning conductors to ensure no serious damage can be caused during a storm.

“In this instance, a module was affected by the storm, meaning the wind turbine operators were unable to remotely access data from the turbine.

“Engineers were on site to fix the problem and data from the turbine including wind speeds, is now back online.”

The company stressed cheese production was unaffected, as the cheese factory sourced its electricity from the national grid during the repair work.

Dewlay’s production director Richard Kenyon, said: “This is our busiest time of the year, with the dairy and packing hall working at full capacity to meet our Christmas orders.

“When the turbine became inactive our electricity supply was unaffected, so cheese is certainly still on the menu this Christmas.’’