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Wind farm fire called first of its kind

New Brunswick's first commercial wind farm will lose several weeks of electricity output from one of its 32 turbines after a major fire damaged the towering structure on the weekend. The blackened shell of the wind turbine, much of its white coating peeled away, was obscured by fog and clouds at the TransAlta wind farm in Albert County.

New Brunswick's first commercial wind farm will lose several weeks of electricity output from one of its 32 turbines after a major fire damaged the towering structure on the weekend.

The blackened shell of the wind turbine, much of its white coating peeled away, was obscured by fog and clouds at the TransAlta wind farm in Albert County.

Each turbine at Kent Hills can generate up to 8.6 million kilowatts of electricity annually, equivalent to the power usage of 540 New Brunswick homes.

A single turbine is estimated to cost between $4 million and $5 million to replace.

"We will have some lost production and that's something we cannot recover,'' Jason Edworthy, director of community development for TransAlta Wind, said in an interview from company headquarters in Calgary.

"But because the tower is all steel we were never concerned and we are still not concerned about the structural integrity. Most of it is salvageable, but it is too early to tell what we are going to need to replace and what that will cost.''

The fire originated 80 metres above ground in the structure's turbine. Vestas, the company that supplies the turbines, will send a team to determine the cause this week.

"These root-cause analyses are kind of... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

New Brunswick's first commercial wind farm will lose several weeks of electricity output from one of its 32 turbines after a major fire damaged the towering structure on the weekend.

The blackened shell of the wind turbine, much of its white coating peeled away, was obscured by fog and clouds at the TransAlta wind farm in Albert County.

Each turbine at Kent Hills can generate up to 8.6 million kilowatts of electricity annually, equivalent to the power usage of 540 New Brunswick homes.

A single turbine is estimated to cost between $4 million and $5 million to replace.

"We will have some lost production and that's something we cannot recover,'' Jason Edworthy, director of community development for TransAlta Wind, said in an interview from company headquarters in Calgary.

"But because the tower is all steel we were never concerned and we are still not concerned about the structural integrity. Most of it is salvageable, but it is too early to tell what we are going to need to replace and what that will cost.''

The fire originated 80 metres above ground in the structure's turbine. Vestas, the company that supplies the turbines, will send a team to determine the cause this week.

"These root-cause analyses are kind of like forensics and they don't occur as fast as the CSI television show,'' Edworthy said. "I don`t think we will really know right away.''

The fire is the first of its kind.

"What they have told us is that this particular platform, the V90 turbine, has not had a fire like this that has just happened on its own,'' Edworthy said.

"This is the only one of this type.''


Source: http://dcnonl.com/article/i...

AUG 13 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/21722-wind-farm-fire-called-first-of-its-kind
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