Even Mother Nature Hates Wind Power: Lightning Strike Destroys Turbine in Ireland

For a machine that’s said to lovingly harvest free-as-a-bird wind energy, the industrial wind turbine sure takes a beating from the weather.

When Hurricane Maria visited Puerto Rico last year, she managed to splatter wind turbine blades all over the island, leaving residents completely powerless: Weather Dependent Wind Power: Leaves Hurricane Victims Powerless

A typhoon in Taiwan did much the same:

It’s almost as if Mother Nature has got it in for these things? This time she’s wreaking havoc in the Emerald Isle.

Nature strikes back: Lightning strikes 46 metre long rotor blade and blasts it to pieces
News Highland
16 January 2018

Safety concerns have been raised after a wind turbine in Inishowen was struck by lightning yesterday evening.

At around 6 o’clock, one of the wind turbines on Crockbrack Hill, Meanletterbale, was struck, causing damage to one of the 46 metre long turbine blades with dents and scorch marks also visible on the nacelle of the turbine.

This is the second incident of its kind, raising concerns over the safety of the turbines developed in such close proximity to homes.

Paula Byrne PRO with Wind Aware Ireland says the current guidelines in place is an indictment to successive Governments:

“We know it was around 6:00 PM yesterday evening this turbine, which is 116 metres tall, was hit by lightning. Apparently, the dents and scorch marks can be seen on the cell, which is the big, round part where the blades come out of. The blades themselves are about 46 metres in length. One of them, from the pictures we’ve seen, it appears almost to be like in ribbons. I’m not quite sure the extent of the damage.

I don’t know how close this turbine is to the nearest home, but we do know that current planning guidelines, turbines are permitted 500 metres from homes, and in practise have actually been built closer to that. So you can imagine the safety concerns and the damage that’s possible if a 46 metre turbine blade came off and actually hit somebody’s house in high winds or something like that.

So, I suppose the point is that, it’s really an indictment of success of government failure to protect people and to put the interest of industry ahead of citizens, when we’ve had no updated planning guidelines that would protect us from these enormous constructions, and planning guidelines have been planned for the last five year.”

Highland Radio

Warning: exposure to the weather may affect performance.

4 thoughts on “Even Mother Nature Hates Wind Power: Lightning Strike Destroys Turbine in Ireland

  1. Just what kind of safety standards are these contraptions built to? Airplanes, which have wings (i.e., turbine blades), and monocoque structures can withstand lightning strikes and severe turbulence and g loads without going into self-destruct mode. These turbines can’t withstand hurricane or typhoon winds even though they are put in places that are regularly hit by hurricanes and typhoons. And now they can’t even take a lightning strike?!

    So turbines can’t generate reliable electricity and they can’t even remain in one piece through normal everyday weather. Sounds like a winning piece of technology to me!

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