Last update: June 23, 2017

WKTV News Channel 2 July 2, 2016 New York

Wind turbine in Fairfield struck by lightning

The wind turbines are built with a special grounding system, but it doesn't always work, as seen by the damage to the turbine in Fairfield.

Report by WKTV News Channel 2Video also available on our YouTube channel

By Gary Liberatore

Fairfield, N.Y. - There are 37 wind turbines in the Hardscrabble Wind Farm in Fairfield. One of them was hit by lightning on Tuesday and is not working.

The only visible sign the turbine was struck is a pointed piece of metal at the end of one of the three blades.

News Channel 2 contacted the owners of the turbines, Avangrid Renewables out of Portland, Oregon, which is part of the Iberdrola Group based in Spain, which originally put these turbines in, five years ago.

A company spokesperson named Paul Copleman released a statement to News Channel 2 stating, "A 12-foot section of fiberglass separated from the blade tip and fell harmlessly to the ground in the cornfield under the turbine."

Copleman went on to say, "We plan to replace the blade as soon as possible."

Jimmy Salamone, who lives in that section of Fairfield says he's just glad no one on the farm where that particular turbine sits, was hurt, "I would hate to see one of them get hurt, or their kids get hurt."

We tried to contact the farm owner but had no luck with return calls.

Because the turbines go so high into the air, they are prone to lightning strikes, but the structures are built with a special grounding system, so that if they are struck by lightning, the lightning goes into the ground without harm to the unit.
But it doesn't always work, as seen by the damage to the turbine in Fairfield.

We noticed on Saturday, there are also two other turbines in the Hardscrabble Wind Farm that are not working, one is near the one that was hit by lightning, but it is not known whether these two other outages are lightning related, or just mechanical in nature.