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Lightning Shuts Down Geothermal Plant

Thu, 11/10/2011 - 4:44am

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Operations are back to normal at a Big Island geothermal plant where a lightning strike caused release of a small amount of hydrogen sulfide.

Hawaii County firefighters were called to Puna Geothermal Venture Tuesday after a nearby resident reported smelling hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs.

Plant officials told firefighters a lighting strike shut down power, resulting in a release of the flammable gas, which can be poisonous in high concentrations.

East Hawaii Battalion Chief Ty Medeiros says air tests found zero parts per million, well below levels necessary for evacuation.

Puna Geothermal Venture is an affiliate of Ormat Technologies, Inc.

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