A wind turbine in Crowell, Texas was reduced to ashes after being struck by a lightning bolt.
A thunderstorm with a lot of lightning moved over a North Texas wind farm Friday.
One of the wind turbines caught fire after it got zapped by a lightning strike.
“The fire chief estimated there were 800 gallons of oil in the gearbox and around 1,300 gallons of mineral oil in the ground-level transformer, which caused the smoke to appear dark black in the sky.” Fox Weather reported.
Fox Weather reported:
CROWELL, Texas- A North Texas wind farm is one turbine down thanks to what officials believe was a devastating lightning strike to one of the massive structures on Friday afternoon.
Videos from witnesses and firefighters showed the wind turbine generator ablaze and disintegrate in the sky over Crowell, Texas.
Doppler radar indicated there was plenty of lightning strikes around the Foard City wind facility before firefighters received the call about the high-altitude fire.
Crews with the Crowell Volunteer Fire Department responded, but Fire Chief Perry Shaw said there was little his firefighters could do to put the fire out.
“We’re not equipped to handle that kind of fire. Nobody in the area really is to speak of,” Shaw said.
Texas grid operator ERCOT was forced to take unprecedented emergency measures last Wednesday to avoid rolling blackouts amid a heatwave as wind turbines failed to produce energy due to low winds.
ERCOT manages electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers and represents 90% of the state’s electric load, according to the company.
According to ERCOT, a heatwave along with very low winds is causing the latest conservation alert.
The wind turbines are not producing enough energy right now, according to ERCOT.
“Wind generation is currently generating significantly less than what it historically generated in this time period,” ERCOT said in a press release. “Current projections show wind generation coming in less than 10 percent of its capacity.”