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March 1, 2022

Disruption in satellite connection impacts Enercon turbines

The disruption has impacted the control and monitoring activities of 5,800 of the company's wind turbines.

Germany-based wind turbine manufacturer Enercon has said that a ‘huge disruption’ to satellite internet has impacted the functioning of some of its wind turbines in central Europe.

Disruption to the satellite connections has impacted the wind turbines’ control and monitoring activities.

German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that 5,800 of Enercon’s turbines, with 11GW of total capacity, have been affected.

In a statement, the company 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 issue is understood to have impacted nearly 30,000 satellite terminals used by different companies and industries across Europe.

Enercon has notified the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), the German cybersecurity watchdog, about the issue.

The company said that it is working closely with the BSI and other service providers to resolve the issue.

The BSI said it was aware that a satellite-based communications operator had experienced a malfunction that had restricted the functionality of some turbines, but did not give further details.

A BSI spokesperson told Handelsblatt: “Due to the redundant communication options of the responsible network operators, no effects on the stability of the power grid are currently to be expected.

“Further investigations into the cause are being carried out by the company concerned in close exchange with the responsible authorities.”

Enercon said that its wind turbines are operating in automatic mode and are not currently at any risk.

The company will not, however, be able to operate the turbines remotely.

Earlier this week, US-based satellite communications firm Viasat said it was investigating a suspected cyberattack that had caused a partial outage to broadband services in Europe.

Viasat offers broadband internet access across Europe via the telecommunication satellite KA-SAT.

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