Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Company revises wind farm proposal

Maine Today
The Associated Press July 11, 2007

A scaled-down version of a proposed wind farm in western
Maine has been filed with the Land Use Regulation Commission
and public hearings are scheduled for September, project
developers said Tuesday.

The latest plan by Maine Mountain Power LLC comes five months
after LURC rejected its earlier proposal to erect a total of 30 wind
turbines on Black Nubble Mountain and Redington Pond Range
near the Sugarloaf USA ski resort.

In the revision, developers removed all 12 turbines from
Redington Pond Range while leaving the 18 turbines on Black
Nubble. The project would generate 54 megawatts of electricity,
enough to power 20,000 homes a year.

Public hearings are tentatively scheduled to be held Sept. 19 to
21, said Jeffrey Thaler, a Portland attorney for Maine Mountain

LURC could vote on the proposal by the end of the year, Thaler
said. If the project is approved then, construction could begin
next spring and the project could be operational in 2009, he

At a press conference Tuesday, representatives of about 20
conservation, health and other organizations expressed their
support for the project. They said it protects Redington Pond
Range from development while providing clean energy and
reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.

"The revised Nubble Mountain project strikes the right balance,"
said Pete Didisheim of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Not all conservation groups favor the project, however.

Jody Jones of Maine Audubon said her organization agrees that
wind power should be pursued, but that Black Nubble Mountain
is an inappropriate site because of its rare plant and animal
species and scenic vistas.

She said other opponents include the Maine Appalachian Trail
Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club and the National Park

"If we build it, we will be very sorry," Jones said. "It's a mistake."

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