New wind-power project faces review

Posted June 04, 2011, at 11:54 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A proposal to build a wind farm with as many as 27 turbines on eastern Maine’s Bowers Mountain is scheduled for hearings before state regulators later this month.

The public will have an opportunity to comment before the Land Use Regulation Commission on June 27 and 28. A presentation by the commission’s staff and testimony by the applicant and the interveners will be held on June 28 and then continue on July 6 in Bangor.

The application for the $136 million wind power development was submitted by Champlain Wind LLC, a subsidiary of First Wind, the Massachusetts company that has other projects in Maine. The project, on top of the 1,127-foot Bowers Mountain, would have a maximum energy output of 57 megawatts.

The proposed project is about 10 miles east of Lee in Carroll Plantation and Kossuth Township, Penobscot County. It is located within the area designated for expedited permitting.

The project is the latest of several operating, under construction or proposed in Maine. An industry group, Wind Power for Maine, says 195 turbines have been constructed and are under contract in Maine.

Groups opposed to large-scale wind projects, meanwhile, continue to push for more stringent regulation of wind power projects. Friends of Maine Mountains held a news conference Friday in the State House in Augusta in which it calling for passage of a bill establishing minimum setbacks for industrial wind turbines, while still allowing property owners to allow reduced setbacks.

Several other bills proposing new restrictions or aimed at weakening a 2008 law that streamlined Maine’s wind-power regulatory laws have been killed.

The Land Use Regulatory Commission will accept public testimony on the Bowers Mountain project at 6 p.m. June 27, and 28 at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln.

 

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