Friday, November 02, 2007

Wind farm moved forward by agency panel

Portland Press Herald

A Stetson Mountain plan is approved by LURC staff and is
supported by a key environmental group.

The Associated Press November 2, 2007

BANGOR -- The proposed 38-turbine Stetson Mountain wind-
power project in eastern Maine has won the endorsement of the
staff of a state development regulatory agency, setting the stage
for a vote next week on what would become New England's
largest project of its kind.

The staff of the Land Use Regulation Commission cites the
project's economic effect on Washington County, by many
measures the state's poorest county, and the environmental
benefits of additional wind power in Maine. The LURC board is to
vote on the project next Wednesday.

The $100 million project, which would be built on Stetson
Mountain between Danforth and Springfield in northern
Washington County, would generate about 57 megawatts for the
New England power grid.

The applicant, Evergreen Wind Power LLC, already has build the
region's largest operating wind farm. The 28-turbine Mars Hill
project started generating power earlier this year. Evergreen is a
subsidiary of UPC Wind Management of Newton, Mass.

Two other major wind-power projects, both in western Maine,
also are proposed. TransCanada's proposal for a 44-turbine
wind farm on Kibby Mountain, near Maine's border with Canada,
is pending. Maine Mountain Power LLC wants to build 18
turbines on Black Nubble Mountain.

On Stetson Mountain, Evergreen wants to rezone about 4,800
acres for its project, but plans call for permanently altering 33

The 38 turbines would rise along six to seven miles on the ridge

The turbines would be nearly 400 feet tall from the base to tip
and would be visible from some homes and roads in the sparsely
populated area.

While some local residents have expressed concerns about the
project's effect on wildlife and scenery, noise and potential for
damage to wells, it has gained support of environmentalists.

Supporters of the project say it would supply enough power for
27,500 Maine households annually.

"It has a fairly minimal environmental impact, it is in a good
wind resource area ... and it moves Maine that much closer to
the goal of harvesting more of the resources of renewable
energy," said Sean Mahoney of the Conservation Law
Foundation's Maine office.

If the LURC board approves the project next week, final plans
will have to be reviewed by the state before construction can

Copyright © 2007 Blethen Maine Newspapers

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