New Brunswick

Wind turbine collapse under investigation in southeast New Brunswick

A wind turbine at New Brunswick’s largest wind farm has collapsed.

Giant windmill was found collapsed across an access road at Kent Hills wind farm

A wind turbine at the Kent Hills wind farm was found collapsed across an access road. (Submitted by Steve Shannahan)

A wind turbine at New Brunswick's largest wind farm has collapsed. 

According to the TransAlta Corporation, the Alberta-based company that owns and operates the Kent Hills wind farm, no one was injured when the structure toppled onto an access road. 

"The cause of the incident is under investigation," TransAlta spokesperson James Mottershead said in an email to CBC News

The area surrounding the wind facility has been closed while the investigation is underway. 

The wind farm is located about 55 km southwest of Moncton, near Prosser Brook, and operates on Crown land. 

According to the company's website, the Kent Hills wind farm is the largest wind facility in the province, with more than 50 wind turbines.

A drone shot of windmills over forests. A windmill is close in the foreground left of frame, several others can be seen in the distance.
More than 50 wind turbines dot the landscape at the Kent Hills wind farm. According to the TransAlta website the farm is the largest wind facility in New Brunswick. (Shane Fowler/CBC News)

Photos from residents in the area show the crumpled turbine lying across an access road. 

Mottershead said the company is asking the public to avoid the remote area, along with the sub-stations, access roads and more than 50 other wind turbines that populate the vast area, while the investigation takes place. 

"We will provide an update once the site has been deemed safe for access and can be reopened to the public," Mottershead said in the email. 

The remote area and its access roads are frequently used by ATV and dirt bike riders.

The TransAlta Renewables the owns and operates the Kent Hills wind farm says the cause of the collapse stated "deficiencies in the original design of the foundations have caused crack propagation within the foundations and that the foundations must be replaced." (Submitted by Steve Shannahan)

According to TransAlta's website, none of the windmills at the Kent Hills wind farm are more than 13 years old. 

Construction on the farm started in 2008, finishing a decade later in 2018. 

The company operates similar facilities in Alberta, Quebec, Ontario, as well as in the U.S. and Australia, its website states.


Shane Fowler


Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.