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Lightning strike blamed for wind turbine blade damage at Lal Lal Wind Farm  

Credit:  Michelle Smith | The Courier | September 17 2019 | www.thecourier.com.au ~~

SHATTERED: The remains of the wind turbine at Lal Lal Wind Farm after a lightning strike splintered a blade during a storm on Sunday. Picture: Alex Ford

Lal Lal Wind Farm operators have confirmed a lightning strike caused a giant wind turbine blade to break and fall to the ground during a storm on Sunday.

About 6.40pm, during the storm, a blade fell to the ground from a V-136 3.6 megawatt turbine.

Vestas, which operates the Lal Lal Wind Farm east of Ballarat, said there were no injuries and no further damage to the turbine structure as a result of the loss of the blade.

“The area has been sealed off and our technical people are on site,” said Vestas spokeswoman Rebecca Zhang.

As a precaution, turbines in the Yendon section of the Lal Lal Wind Farm were switched off soon after the lightning storm.

Lal Lal Wind Farm stretches across about 2100 hectares at Yendon and Elaine. Construction of the 60 massive wind turbines, which reach heights of more than 160m above ground, is forecast to be completed this month.

Information on the company’s website says there are integrated lightning protection systems fitted to the blades to ensure they can withstand a direct strike without serious damage.

“We can confirm that the turbine was struck by lightning however we still can’t comment on the root cause because we are still trying to determine it,” she said.

Ms Zhang said Worksafe had been notified.

The turbines at Lal Lal Wind Farm have also been fitted with Australian-first radar-activated aviation lights, which turn on when an aircraft comes within four to six kilometres.

Source:  Michelle Smith | The Courier | September 17 2019 | www.thecourier.com.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments to query/wind-watch.org.

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