A wind turbine near Ruthton, Minnesota suffered substantial damage after being hit by lightning.
A photograph by a group of storm chasers from Tea, South Dakota, who call themselves the ‘Tea Storm Chasers’, shows how one the blades has been bent out of shape and split apart, while another appears to be burnt.
Lightning strikes on wind turbines are relatively common, given their positions on flat planes or near the tops of hills. They can often be the tallest objects for several miles, and the fact they are made of metal means they conduct lightning especially well.
In fact, a paper published in 2007 found that “lightning damage is the single largest cause of unplanned downtime in wind turbines, and that downtime is responsible for the loss of countless megawatts of power generation.”
Below are more examples of wind turbines being struck by lightning:
And an offshore wind farm: