Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wind farm hopes to be operating in one year

A 38-turbine project planned for Washington County moves one step closer to construction.

The Associated Press November 8, 2007

ROCKWOOD — Maine land regulators Wednesday gave their
approval to a zoning change and preliminary plan for a 38-
turbine wind project in eastern Maine that would be the largest
wind farm in the region.

The Land Use Regulation Commission unanimously approved the
zoning request for a 57-megawatt project on Stetson Mountain,
a ridge line that stretches between Danforth and Springfield in
northern Washington County.

The applicant, Evergreen Wind Power, has already built the
region's largest operating wind farm -- a 42-megawatt, 28-
turbine project in the northern Maine town of Mars Hill that
started generating power earlier this year. Evergreen is a
subsidiary of UPC Wind Management of Newton, Mass.

Matt Kearns, the Stetson Mountain project manager, said
construction will begin this winter pending final LURC and
Environmental Protection Department approval. The wind farm,
which will generate enough electricity for 27,000 homes, could
be operational by the end of 2008.

"Today is an important milestone," Kearns said. "We're ready to
move ahead."

LURC's staff recently endorsed the $100 million project, citing
its positive economic impact on Washington County and the
environmental benefits of additional wind power in Maine.

The company is already staging materials in the area in
preparation for construction.

The wind farm has been endorsed by a number of environmental
groups, including the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine
Audubon and the Appalachian Mountain Club.

The project is a "big step toward a cleaner, brighter future for
Maine," said Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources Council of

The wind turbine towers will be 262 feet tall, with blade
diameters of 253 feet, according to the company's Web site. The
turbine at maximum height will be 389 feet tall.

Copyright © 2007 Blethen Maine Newspapers

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