New Brunswick

TransAlta finds cracked foundations at N.B. wind farm where tower collapsed

TransAlta Renewables Inc. says it has found cracks in several foundations of the turbines at a wind farm in New Brunswick where a tower collapsed in September.

Farm southwest of Moncton has more than 50 wind turbines

A wind turbine at the Kent Hills wind farm was found collapsed across an access road in September. TransAlta Renewables now says it has found cracks in the foundations of other turbine towers at the site. (Submitted by Steve Shannahan)

TransAlta Renewables Inc. says it has found cracks in several foundations of the turbines at a wind farm in New Brunswick where a tower collapsed in September.

The company says the discovery of the subsurface cracks means the foundations will likely need repairs, and if replacement is required, costs are estimated at $1.5 million to $2 million per foundation.

TransAlta Renewables suspended operations and began an investigation after a tower collapsed earlier this month at its Kent Hill wind farm, 55 kilometres southwest of Moncton, near Prosser Brook.

The suspended operation includes 50 wind turbines at Kent Hills 1 and Kent Hills 2, where the tower collapsed. Five turbines at Kent Hills 3 continue to operate.

More than 50 wind turbines dot the landscape at the Kent Hills wind farm, the largest in New Brunswick, according to TransAlta. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

The company says the foundation issues at the Kent Hills 1 and 2 sites are unique to the design of those sites, and there is no indication of any foundation issues at the Kent Hills 3 site or the company's other locations.

It estimates the outage will result in the loss of $3.7 million per month in potential earnings for as long as all 50 turbines are offline, based on average historical wind production.

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