Canadian Manufacturing

Transformer damaged, turbines shut down after shots fired at Alta. wind farm

TransAlta staff discovered bullet holes in a transformer at its McBride Lake wind farm south of Calgary when responding to a remote alert ; RCMP investigating, say shots were possibly fired from nearby road



The wind farm has 114 Vestas V47 turbines. PHOTO: Eric Savage/Flickr

FORT MACLEOD, Alta.—Police have launched an investigation in southern Alberta after they say someone fired shots at a TransAlta wind turbine site.

The RCMP said it happened early Wednesday evening at the turbine facility south of Fort Macleod.

They said the company was alerted of a problem remotely when its main station was tripped, and when staff arrived at the scene they discovered bullet holes in one of the transformers.

Police said damage to the transformer was extensive and several wind turbines were temporarily shut down as a result. Nevertheless, the turbines were back in service and the transformer repaired three hours after the incident, TransAlta later said via Twitter.

It appears the shots were fired from a distance, possibly from the nearby road, the RCMP said, adding that the financial loss is expected to be significant.

The 75 megawatt McBride Lake wind farm came online in 2003 and operates 114 Vestas turbines.

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