GARDNER – A skylight on Mount Wachusett Community College’s performing arts center was damaged when ice flew off a wind turbine and showered the building and a parking lot.
Samuel Bonacci, a spokesman for the college, said the ice flew off the turbine’s blades Tuesday morning, landing on the building and a parking lot used by faculty and staff. It broke a hole in the skylight.
Mr. Bonacci said campus police and maintenance staff shut down both the school’s wind turbines to evaluate them and cordoned off the area.
“A preliminary evaluation by facilities staff indicates that an unusual circumstance of rapid melting and loosening of ice that had built up on the wind turbine blades resulted in the dislodged ice,” he said.
Mr. Bonacci said it was the first time ice melting off the turbines, which have been operating for years, fell that far away. An ice accumulation detection system built in to the turbines is supposed to shut them down when ice is detected.
Mr. Bonacci said staff members are investigating what went wrong and the extent of damage.