N.B. wind turbine burns

A wind turbine near Moncton went up in flames Saturday morning.

A wind turbine near Moncton went up in flames Saturday morning.

Officials with TransAlta Corp., the company that operates the 32 turbines on the Kent Hills Wind Farm, are investigating how the fire broke out. The farm is located in Elgin, N.B., about 30 kilometres southwest of Moncton.

Jason Edworthy, a spokesman for the Alberta-based company, said the fire is very unusual and the company that supplied the turbine will be involved in the investigation.

The Elgin Fire Department and employees of TransAlta responded to the fire at about 9 a.m. Saturday and were able to contain it. Three TransAlta employees on site were alerted to the problem by the turbine's sensor.

The loss of one turbine will not affect the ability of TransAlta to supply NB Power, Edworthy said.

The Kent Hills facility began operations on Dec. 31, 2008, and was slated to provide 280,000-megawatt hours of power per year to meet the electricity needs of approximately 17,300 homes.

Replacing the turbine is estimated to cost between $4 million and $5 million.