In the 5 ½ years that the wind turbine has been installed at Indian Lake High School, it has incurred voltage surges twice causing extensive damage to the equipment. Both times, lightning was in the area which means that the repairs were not covered by the warranty. Even though all of the recommended grounding was in place, the inverter which converts the 240V AC power from the turbine to useable AC power for the school, was damaged. Additional grounding and surge protection at a cost of $150 has been added in recent weeks to prevent further damage due to lightning.
The first lightning strike was in May, 2008 and required $3,850 for material and labor to repair the inverter. Then on May 11, 2011, another voltage surge caused $2,457 of damage and required over 3 months to complete the repairs. This equates to an average yearly maintenance cost of $1,147 over the past 5 ½ years.