Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wind farm developers set sights on summer

TransCanada hopes to have all permits approved in time to start construction in western Maine this year.

By GLENN ADAMS, The Associated Press
January 16, 2008

AUGUSTA — Prospective developers of a wind farm near the Canadian border in western Maine said Tuesday that they hope to begin construction this summer and have all 44 turbines running by 2010.

TransCanada Maine Wind Development hopes that all permits will be approved in time for it to start construction in northern Franklin County this summer, said Nick Di Domenico, the project manager. If that happens, TransCanada hopes to have some of the windmills running in 2009 and all of them turning a year later.

TransCanada's project cleared a major regulatory hurdle on Monday when the state's Land Use Regulation Commission unanimously approved the Canadian company's application to rezone 2,367 acres for the project.

Before construction begins, TransCanada must submit a final development plan to LURC, which regulates projects in Maine's unorganized territories. The final development plan will be a more detailed version of the rezoning application, which covered effects on land and wildlife.

Di Domenico said much of the detail was covered in the application that was approved Monday.

Before their vote on Monday ordering the LURC staff to prepare a report recommending approval, board members said the rezoning application was complete and thorough.

Di Domenico said Tuesday that TransCanada was gratified by that reaction.

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