First Wind appeals Maine environmental board’s Bowers Mountain rejection

Posted July 09, 2014, at 8:47 a.m.
Last modified July 09, 2014, at 7:14 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — First Wind has filed an appeal to challenge a decision that prevents it from building a 16-turbine wind farm to generate power for which it already has a buyer.

The state’s Department of Environmental Protection denied a permit for the project last year, a decision upheld by the citizen-run Board of Environmental Protection last month.

The DEP decision found that the $100 million, 48-megawatt project would have widespread negative scenic impact on the Bowers Mountain site, located in Carroll Plantation and Kossuth Township, within eight miles of lakes deemed Scenic Resources of State or National Significance. The conservation group Partnership for the Preservation of Downeast Lakes Watershed opposed the project.

The appeal filed last week by the Massachusetts-based developer will be heard before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

The company said in a prepared statement that it believes the project met state standards and it is hopeful the project can move ahead.

The company last August signed a power purchasing agreement for the Bowers Mountain project with National Grid subsidiary Narragansett Electric, which is based in Rhode Island. That agreement would require First Wind to begin supplying power from Bowers Mountain by March 2017.

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