Satellite outage knocks out 5,800 wind turbines in central Europe as war between Russia and Ukraine intensifies
As the fight intensifies between Russia and Ukraine, Germany’s Enercon said on Monday that a “massive disruption” of satellite connections in Europe was affecting the operations of 5,800 wind turbines in central Europe, according to a report from Reuters. Enercon said the exact cause is still unknown.
Enercon said the satellite connections stopped working on Thursday, knocking out remote monitoring and control of the wind turbines with a total capacity of 11 gigawatts (GW).
In a statement, Enercon said, “The exact cause of the disruption is not yet known. The communication services failed almost simultaneously with the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.” The company added that it had no further information on who or what may have caused the disruption.
Enercon has informed Germany’s cybersecurity watchdog BSI and is working with the relevant providers of the satellite communication networks to resolve the disruption, which it said affected around 30,000 satellite terminals used by companies and organizations from various sectors across Europe.
BSI said it was aware that a satellite-based communications operator has experienced a malfunction and that this had restricted the maintenance of some wind turbines, without providing details.
“However, no effects on power grid stability are currently expected due to redundant communication capabilities of the responsible grid operators. Further investigations into the cause are being carried out by the company concerned in close exchange with the responsible authorities,” BSI said.
Enercon is working with the operators of the affected wind farms to set up alternative ways to regain remote control of the turbines, it said, without naming the operators. There was no risk to the turbines as they continued to operate on “auto mode,” the company said.