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Hearing eyes wind farm idea atop high ridge  

FREEDOM – Residents will have a final chance to voice their opinions on a proposed windpower farm during Monday’s meeting at the Congregation Church.

The planning board’s public hearing on the proposed project, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., was originally scheduled for Nov. 9. That meeting was postponed when officials determined abutters had not been properly notified.

Portland-based Competitive Energy Services LLC hopes to construct three wind turbines on Beaver Ridge.

The turbines would each have the capacity of roughly 1.5 megawatts. The $10 million project could generate enough electricity to power 2,000 Maine homes.

The three 250-foot towers would hold blades 140 feet across, meaning the structures would reach nearly 400 feet in the air.

Lighted at night and located on a ridge roughly 1,000 feet above sea level, the towers would be visible from many points in Freedom.

The company has a long-term lease with the owners of the Beaver Ridge site, Ronald and Susan Price, who own Craneland Farm, a longtime dairy farm.

The couple has said the wind turbines offer a way to preserve their farmland.

The controversial project has spawned heated exchanges at previous public hearings.

Abutters fear what the towers would do to the property values and potential physical risks, such as falling ice, which the towers pose.

Taxpayers have been promised the windpower farm could help offset taxes. In May more than 200 residents signed a petition supporting the windmill. In June residents voted 56-25 in favor of the turbines.

Competitive Energy Services LLC is a licensed energy provider that helps Maine companies, institutions and organizations buy electricity, natural gas, propane and fuel oil. It currently buys more than $200 million a year of commodities for more than 15,000 customers in the United States and Canada.

The Freedom project is its first wind energy venture.

Its subsidiary, Maine Renewable Energy, supplies more than 2,000 customers with power generated from Maine hydroelectric facilities.

By Craig Crosby, Staff Writer

861-9253

ccrosby@centralmaine.com

kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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