Friday, August 03, 2007

New wind-energy plan builds support

Maine Today
July 19, 2007

Two major environmental groups that are divided over a wind-
energy project in western Maine are throwing their support
behind a $100 million proposal for 38 turbines on Stetson
Mountain in Washington County.

Maine Audubon and the Natural Resources Council of Maine
announced Tuesday that they are endorsing the proposal by UPC
Wind Management. If built today, it would be New England's
largest wind-energy facility, generating an estimated 57
megawatts of power a year, enough for about 27,500 Maine

The state's Land Use Regulation Commission tentatively is
scheduled to hold a public hearing and work session on the
application on Aug. 7 and 8.

Stetson Mountain is a ridge that runs for about six miles along
the border between northern Washington County and Penobscot
County, between Danforth and Springfield. UPC Wind, based in
Massachusetts, said it chose the site for its steady winds, remote
location and network of logging roads.

Maine Audubon said UPC has agreed to do additional
engineering studies, expand its study of effects on birds and
bats, and commit to a plan for removing the turbines at the end
of their useful lives.

The Stetson proposal is one of three wind projects before LURC.

Maine Audubon and the Natural Resources Council of Maine also
support TransCanada's proposal for 44 turbines atop Kibby
Mountain in northern Franklin County.

Audubon opposes, and the Natural Resources Council supports,
Maine Mountain Power LLC's proposal for 18 turbines on Black
Nubble Mountain in western Maine.

The Natural Resources Council organized a rally of
environmental and other organizations last week to support the
Black Nubble Plan. The group says the project would help
decrease demand for fossil fuels while protecting valuable sub-
alpine wildlife habitat on the nearby Redington Pond range.

Audubon says the Black Nubble plan would have marginal
energy benefits while disrupting a valuable and sensitive wildlife
habitat that's already in limited supply in Maine.

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