LINCOLN, Maine — The planning board begins its review tonight of a proposed $130 million wind farm that, if approved, would deposit about 40 mammoth windmills on Rollins Mountain in four towns.
First Wind of Massachusetts hopes to build 40 1½-megawatt windmills, each more than 300 feet tall, in Burlington, Lincoln, Lee and Winn, creating as much as 60 megawatts of electricity through Evergreen Wind Power, a First Wind subsidiary.
The board will begin its review at Mattanawcook Junior High School at 7 p.m.
Under the plan, Lincoln would have 19 or 20 turbines; Winn, three; Lee, seven; and Burlington, 12. Two turbine sites are listed as alternates. The company would install a 115,000-volt transmission line from Rollins Mountain to a Mattawamkeag connection to the New England grid.
The project is opposed by the Friends of Lincoln Lakes, a residents group consisting largely of members who live near the proposed project site.
The group fears the wind farm will blight one of Lincoln’s most pristine natural environments; threaten human and wildlife health; depress land values; and fail to return direct electrical benefits to residents. The group has failed twice to convince the Town Council or planning board to support a 180-day moratorium on the project to get more time to study the project’s potential effects.
Board members have expressed confidence that town regulations are adequate for a fair review. First Wind has said the project will not provide electricity to residents but will meet all environmental requirements.
Town officials expect at least $400,000 annually in tax revenue from the project.