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Maine wind turbine fire under investigation

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2013 at 2:44 pm •  Published: May 13, 2013
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — An investigation into the cause of a fire that destroyed a wind turbine at New England's largest wind farm is expected to wrap up within a month.

The Jan. 16 blaze, the first reported turbine fire in Maine, burned out the gear box at the top of one of the 44 turbine towers at the Kibby Wind farm in northern Franklin County, said Grady Semmens, spokesman for the company that owns the farm. Nobody was injured and the fire burned itself out before it could spread, he said.

The turbine appears to be beyond repair, Semmens said, but the company, TransCanada, hasn't decided if it will be replaced.

The decision is "subject to the investigation in terms of the cause and what that'll mean for a potential insurance claim," he said.

Calgary, Alberta-based TransCanada doesn't disclose the cost of its turbines, but a large, commercial-scale turbine could cost several million dollars. The entire Kibby Wind farm was built at a cost of $350 million.

TransCanada, an independent fire investigator and turbine-manufacturer Vestas are conducting the investigation.

A full inspection of the turbine was delayed because of snow and poor road conditions leading to the remote tower. It's now expected to be completed within a month, Semmens said.

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