Friday, March 27, 2009

Wind farm proposed for Carthage

By Eileen M. Adams , Staff Writer
Saturday, March 21, 2009

CARTHAGE - This small Franklin County town is the latest site for possible wind turbine development. If constructed, the project would more than double the valuation of the town.

Todd Presson, chief operating officer for Patriot Renewables, a Quincy, Mass.-based company, said at least 12 turbines capable of producing about one-and-a-half megawatts each, are in the early planning stages. The company has an option to buy about 1,000 acres for siting the 400-foot turbines.

He said a meteorological tower was erected on Saddleback Ridge in the north central part of the town in October.

Another six or seven towers could also be built on an adjacent 300 acres owned by the town, Presson said.

First Selectman Steve Brown said residents voted in 2001 to preserve that acreage in its natural state.

If Patriot Renewables leased the property to build additional turbines, Brown said the town would receive royalties.

To change the status of the land requires a vote by residents, he said.

On Monday, about 60 residents turned out at the town office to hear a presentation by Presson and two other representatives from the company on their plans.

He said the company plans to meet with the Department of Environmental Protection within the next couple of weeks to discuss the spring bird migration season.

Because the town does not have ordinances governing structures such as turbines, the permitting process will be done through the state.

Residents, however, will have a chance to learn about the project every step of the way.

Presson said a visit to a completed wind farm in the Waldo County town of Freedom is being organized for sometime in the next couple of weeks for Carthage residents who would like to learn more about the impact of turbines. That recently completed project is comprised of three turbines.

Anyone interested in joining the tour should contact the Carthage town office.

Presson said another public meeting will be scheduled sometime after the field visit and a decision by residents on whether to lease the town's 300 acres on Saddleback Ridge.

Patriot Renewables is also in the early stages of planning a six- to 12-turbine project in Woodstock along Spruce Mountain.

Presson said if all permits go according to hopes, construction on both the Carthage and Woodstock wind farms could begin in 2010.

Electricity produced would be sold to the New England grid.

Brown said the current value of the town is $26 million. If the turbines are built, that could more than double.

Other area wind farm projects in various stages of planning include Black Mountain in Rumford and a site in Roxbury.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This will destroy the scenic beutiy of Webb Lake as the tower will be seen from all areas of the lake.....