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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Wind topples Cowley Ridge turbine

Cowley Ridge August 30, Ethan DeCock photo
T. Lucas/C. Davis
Updated with photos by Ethan DeCock

A lattice turbine collapsed on Cowley Ridge at approximately 1:45 pm Sunday, August 30. According to TransAlta Communication Adviser Amber Goulard "This is an extremely anomalous incident." The turbine was not in operation at the time of the collapse and crews were onsite within an hour to deal with the situation. Goulard said that wind speeds in the area were measured between 122 to 135 kilometres per hour at the time.


Cowley Ridge August 30, Ethan DeCock photo
Cowley Ridge August 30, Ethan DeCock photo

Cowley Ridge August 30, Ethan DeCock photo

Cowley Ridge August 30, Ethan DeCock photo

Cowley Ridge August 30, Ethan DeCock photo

Some of the turbines pictured were photographed at Cowley Ridge on September 1. Cleanup of the site seems to have been accomplished swiftly.


Cowley Ridge September 1, Josh Davis photo
Cowley Ridge September 1, Josh Davis photo
Cowley Ridge September 1, Josh Davis photo
Cowley Ridge is owned and operated by TransAlta through its wholly owned subsidiary Canadian Hydro Developers. According to the TransAlta website, "Cowley Ridge was the first commercial wind facility in Canada. The original wind facility was completed in two phases. Phase 1 was commissioned in 1993 and Phase 2 in August of 1994. In October 2000, five additional turbines were added.  The turbines are mounted on 24.5 metre lattice towers and operate in wind speeds of up to 97 km per hour."

The turbines are of a type no longer installed here, being much smaller than the modern models and of a different design,  but continue in service.


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