Monday, January 15, 2007

Wind farm approval sought

AP Wire

Monday, January 15, 2007

KIBBY TOWNSHIP - A Canadian-based energy company has filed its application with state regulators seeking a zoning change and development permit for 2,900 acres in western Maine to build a $270 million wind farm.

TransCanada Corp., based in Calgary, Alberta, is proposing to erect 44 wind turbines on 13.7 miles of ridge line on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Kibby and Skinner townships in northern Franklin County, near the Canadian border.

The project also would include power collection lines, access roads and an electric transmission line to connect power generated by the turbines to the existing power transmission grid about 25 miles away.

The wind farm would be capable of providing about 132 megawatts of wind-generated electricity to customers in Maine and New England, according to TransCanada.

If approved, construction would begin later this year, with some turbines in operation by the end of 2008 and the project completed in 2009.

The company filed its application last week with the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission. Commission staffers will go through the application before a public hearing on the project is held, said Catherine Carroll, the agency's director.

The company said it expects the project would create up to 250 jobs during construction and 10 to 12 permanent jobs once it is operational.

The commission's staff has recommended approval of a proposal by Maine Mountain Power LLC to rezone about 1,000 acres near the Sugarloaf/USA ski resort to erect 30 turbines.

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