The operators of Scituate’s wind turbine say they’ve lost nearly $19,000 in revenue since the turbine was damaged by lightning on June 24, and they say they’re uncertain when it will be operating again.
In the two weeks since it was struck by lightning, the turbine would have generated an average of 168,800 kilowatt hours, or $18,900 in revenue.
However, the operators say the turbine is still on track to produce its promised revenue and energy for the year. The annual energy and revenue calculations factor in downtime for maintenance, turbine owners said, and Scituate’s is still well within projected ranges.
“Even with the extended downtime due to the lightning strike, we are still within the projected downtime for maintenance over the past 12 months,” said Sumul Shah, president of Lumus Construction and operator of the turbine.
Shah noted that the company wouldn’t know exactly how much potential energy or revenue they had lost until it conducted an analysis of wind speeds in the past few weeks.
Lost energy and revenue is a secondary concern, however, as operators work to bring the machine back online.
According to Shah, engineers have gone through 80 percent of the control systems on the turbine and have replaced several components, including fuses, wires, and other small parts that were damaged by the lightning strike.
“We continue to make progress in resolving the issues. All of the repairs have been made with parts that we have in inventory and at this time there are no parts have been ordered or that we are waiting for,” Shah said.
Shah did not specify when the machine would go online again.
The $6 million, 400-foot tall turbine was turned on in March 2012, a little over a month after the turbine assembly.
Scituate does not receive any of the turbine revenues, but the town buys all the turbine’s power at a discounted rate for municipal needs. In the 15-year contract, Scituate is expected to save $3 million on energy costs.
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