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Truck carrying wind turbine tower section to Bull Hill site dumps load into ditch

AURORA, Maine – A trailer carrying a section of a wind turbine tower to the Bull Hill wind project site overturned Monday, dumping the tower section into a ditch alongside a private road off of Route 9.

The driver of the truck was not injured and no fuel spilled, according to Jack Parker, president of Reed & Reed, a contractor on the project responsible for construction of access roads, crane paths, turbine pads and electrical substations related to the project, according to the company’s website.

“What’s important here is that no one was hurt,” Parker said Monday afternoon.

The accident happened around noontime, Parker said, when the truck and trailer hit the soft shoulder of the road, causing the trailer to tip. The truck itself did not turn over, according to Parker.

Parker, who said he wasn’t sure how large the tower section was, said a crane would be brought in sometime in the next day or so to place the tower onto a new trailer.

The Bull Hill site is about five miles from the place where the accident occurred. Parker said at about 2 p.m. Monday that the truck and trailer were no longer in the road and it was passable for the company and people who own camps on the network of dirt and gravel roads in the area.

The $76 million Bull Hill project is the latest wind development effort in the state.

All of the tower sections arrived by ship from Denmark by early July and are being transported to the Hancock County worksite, about 18 miles northeast of Ellsworth.

The builder, First Wind, has said the construction project involves about 200 jobs.

When completed, the 34-megawatt Bull Hill will bring First Wind’s total capacity in Maine to 185 megawatts, or enough to supply the energy needs for 85,000 homes, according to First Wind, which has built four other projects in Maine and additional projects in northeastern and western states.

First Wind’s other Maine wind farms include the Mars Hill project in Aroostook County, Rollins Wind project in Penobscot County and the Stetson I and II projects in Washington County. TransCanada’s Kibby Wind project in Franklin County, which generates enough power for about 50,000 homes, is the largest project in New England.

First Wind has said it hopes to have the site up and running sometime in November.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.