TransAlta Renewables finds cracks in turbine foundations at New Brunswick wind farm

A woman walks towards the entrance of the TransAlta headquarters building in Calgary on April 29, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Larry MacDougal

TransAlta Renewables Inc. lowered its financial guidance for this year as it said it has found cracks in several foundations of the turbines at a wind farm in New Brunswick where a tower collapsed earlier this month.

The company says the discovery of the sub-surface 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. 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.

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.

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READ MORE: Power producer TransAlta raises financial outlook for the year, reports Q2 loss

It estimates the outage is expected to result in foregone revenue of about $3.7 million per month for as long as all 50 turbines are off-line, based on average historical wind production.

As a result, TransAlta Renewables lowered its guidance range for its comparable EBITDA, adjusted funds from operations, and cash available for distribution.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about wind farms.

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