Meteorage : Have you noticed any direct or indirect effects of thunderstorms on your wind farms this year?

Ludovico Terzi (LT), Head of Performance and Technical Asset Analysis in Engie Italy’s Renewable Energy and Storage Division:
“Lightning struck some of our turbines. Meteorage’s services allow us to be informed in good time and to send teams on site to check the turbines in the affected areas.”

"In Italy and other European countries, the frequency and consequences of storm events are an integral part of business plans, proving that the dangers are real."

You use our real-time solution, Lightning Alarm. What are the benefits for your business?

LT: “The Lightning Alarm is interesting because it offers the possibility of anticipating a storm event. This is a real asset for optimising maintenance, and in particular for guaranteeing staff safety.”

In the event of a thunderstorm at a park site, what happens to the operational team after they receive our early warning message?

LT: “The site manager receives the alert in real time and informs the operators on site. The second step is to check the installation by visually inspecting the turbine.”

FR Engie Italia Wind Farm

You also have access to the delayed Lightning Remote Counter service, which provides you with a detailed report on the storm activity observed on a wind farm the previous day. Can you explain its usefulness to us?

LT: “The Lightning Remote Counter service is very useful. Firstly, for any claims that may need to be made. From an operational point of view, we cross-reference the data from the Remote Counter report with that from the blade inspection report: this enables us to prioritise repair operations. On the one hand, we are able to optimise planning and budgets, and on the other, the maps in the Lightning Remote Counter report enable us to identify the areas most affected by lightning strikes, so that we can monitor asset performance.

Let’s take an example: we noticed that a wind turbine blade was performing below its theoretical efficiency. As it was in an area prone to storm events, we put it under surveillance and concluded that the blade was indeed damaged.”

"The benefits are twofold: reducing or limiting losses and therefore improving production on the one hand, and ensuring an appropriate useful life for the asset on the other."

ENGIE is the leader in decarbonisation and energy efficiency at the service of public administration, businesses and private individuals. In Italy, more than one million households trust Engie for the supply of energy and services, making it a key player in the energy transition towards a carbon-neutral economy.

By Matteo Moreau and Sabrina Boissinot – 16/03/2023

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