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Scituate wind turbine may have been hit by lightning

The Scituate Wind turbine may have been hit by lightning during the severe thunderstorm on Monday night.

Sumul Shah, president of Solaya, the operators of the Scituate Wind, has not been able to confirm lightning struck the turbine, but said it was a “likely scenario.” Residents reported hearing a loud crack in the area of the turbine on Monday night.

Sometime during the storm – between 8 and 9 p.m. – the turbine had a number of errors within its electronic systems, Shah said. The turbine has not been running since that time.

“It’s a slow and tedious process,” Shah said of going through the turbine’s many electronic systems and errors. “We have to look at everything, soup to nuts.”

Shah said the turbine has a “black box” type mechanism that will yield more information on whether the turbine got hit by lightning. As of Wednesday afternoon, the “black box” had not been retrieved.

He did not confirm reports of a charred blade, but said the blade does have a lightning protection system.

Shah said the earliest he expected the turbine to be back online would be later today (Thursday), but the repairs could take longer.

Scituate’s DPW director also said the turbine may have been hit by lightning.

“It blew a fuse. No other known damage at this time,” Bangert said in an email Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Power Dash website, which records the energy production of Scituate Wind, there was a sudden drop off in energy production between 8 and 9 p.m. on Monday night. There had been no energy production at the turbine since that time, according to the Power Dash website.

Messages to Gordon Deane, president of Palmer Capital Corporation, the manager of Scituate Wind, LLC, on Tuesday have not been returned.

Check back for further updates on this developing story.