Friday, January 04, 2008

Large wind farm proposal wins approval

Portland Press Herald

The $100 million project in Washington County will have 38 turbines and should minimize impact.

The Associated Press
January 4, 2008

AUGUSTA — Maine's wilderness zoning board has given
final approval to a 57-megawatt wind farm in northern
Washington County, which would be the largest such project in
New England.

The Land Use Regulation Commission voted 5-0 Wednesday,
with two members absent, in favor of the plan by Evergreen
Wind Power to install 38 turbines on Stetson Mountain, a ridge
line between Danforth and Springfield.

The vote came two months after LURC approved a zoning
change for the $100 million project.

"We are pleased that the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission
has recognized the importance of developing alternative energy
sources such as the Stetson Wind Project, which is poised to
become the region's biggest source of wind energy," said Paul
Gaynor, president and chief executive officer of UPC Wind
Management of Newton, Mass., parent of Evergreen Wind Power.

"The project will also provide numerous economic benefits to
the region, including revenue and employment opportunities, as
we move forward with construction activities," Gaynor said.

Evergreen Wind Power built a 42-megawatt, 28-turbine wind
farm in Mars Hill, the largest operation of its kind in the region.
The company has said the Stetson Mountain wind farm, which
will generate enough electricity to power 27,000 homes, could
be operating by the end of this year.

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

During LURC's review process, the company noted that old
logging roads can be used during construction, minimizing the
environmental impact. There are no homes within 2,500 feet of
the project site, and about one-third of the needed transmission
lines will be in the same right of way as existing electricity lines.

Copyright © 2008 Blethen Maine Newspapers

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