Corps, DEP seek views on $130M wind project

Posted Feb. 10, 2009, at 9:24 p.m.

First Wind of Massachusetts’ proposed $130 million wind farm and an associated 115-kilovolt power line might affect an Essential Fish Habitat for Atlantic salmon, but its impact will be minimal if precautions are taken, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday.

The corps and Maine Department of Environmental Protection both seek public comment on the project. The DEP is holding a public hearing at 6 p.m. today at Mattanawcook Academy to hear residents’ views on the industrial project, said Jim Cassida, DEP’s licensing coordinator.

“The application is still in process with us,” Cassida said Tuesday. “We are still receiving comments from our review agents. We will be compiling all the information we hear tomorrow night as part of our review.”

The hearing could run until 9 p.m., Cassida said. Residents are invited.

If permitted, First Wind subsidiary Evergreen Wind Power III LLC will put 40 380-foot turbine towers generating at peak 60 megawatts in clusters on Rollins Mountain in Lincoln and the Rocky Dundee ridges in Burlington. The project also covers parts of Lee and has the power line running into Mattawamkeag, where it would connect to the New England power grid.

The project could affect several wetlands and fisheries areas, but the impact is expected to be minimal with appropriate erosion control measures. Those include stream work windows and other best management practices such as maintenance of existing vegetative stream buffers, corps engineers said in a statement.

The corps invites public comments on the permit request, File No. NAE-2008-03464, no later than March 2 to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Maine Project Office, Attn: Rodney Howe, 675 Western Ave., #3, Manchester, ME 04351.

Additional information is available from permit project manager Rodney Howe at 623-8367 or by e-mail to rodney.a.howe@usace.army.mil.

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