Wind farm fire source remains mystery
TransAlta Corp. is still investigating what caused a fire last month that destroyed one of its turbines at the Kent Hills Wind Farm, a company spokesman says.
Although lightning has been ruled out as a factor in the Aug. 8 fire, Jason Edworthy, the director of community development for the Alberta-based company, said the investigation may take another couple of weeks.
He said a replacement for the turbine, one of 32 at the southeastern New Brunswick wind farm, should arrive later this month and be up and running in October.
"We have a replacement unit on its way. We actually diverted it from a project we are working on in Alberta. It's on a rail car and it's heading to New Brunswick," he said.
The damage has been estimated at roughly $5 million.
Edworthy said TransAlta is working with the turbine supplier to determine how the fire started. The cause of the fire will determine whether the replacement costs will be picked up by the turbine's warranty or covered by insurance.
The loss of the one wind turbine did not affect the wind farm's output of electricity, according to the company spokesman.
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.