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Up to 50 turbines, $218 million investment planned for Western Maine mountains  

Credit:  By Eileen M. Adams, Staff Writer, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 19 August 2010 ~~

DIXFIELD – If all four proposed wind turbine projects proposed by Patriot Renewables LLC are developed as tentatively planned, the Quincy, Mass., company will spend nearly $220 million to build up to 50 turbines in Oxford and Franklin counties.

The four projects are all in various stages of planning, with tentative plans to start work on the 10-turbine project on Woodstock’s Spruce Mountain sometime in the fall. The estimated cost is between $40 million and $45 million.

Andy Novey, project manager for all four proposals, said the environmental application for the Woodstock project is under review by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The company would construct its project on about 2,900 leased or owned acres. Only a small portion of the land would be used for access roads and turbines. The rest would be left unused.

The Canton project is in the earliest stages. A meteorological tower was installed on Canton Mountain on leased property a couple of months ago. The tower measures wind strength and direction. If the project goes through, it will include 10 turbines that will produce about 20 megawatts of electricity and cost between $40 million and $45 million.

The other two projects are in Dixfield and Carthage.

A special committee has been developing a wind ordinance for the past few months in Dixfield. Townspeople will have a chance to attend public hearings in October on the proposed ordinance, and to vote on the final document in November.

Patriot has proposed building up to 13 turbines on the ridge that includes Colonel Holman Mountain on leased land in Dixfield. That project would cost between $40 million and $60 million.

Novey said his company would review the ordinance once it is passed, then go forward with the prescribed guidelines. Dixfield residents voted in a one-year moratorium while the ordinance was being written.

In Carthage, where a majority of residents defeated a moratorium on wind farm development a few months ago, tentative plans are to construct up to 17 turbines, valued at $68 million, on the Saddleback Mountain ridge.

Patriot has options to buy 1,300 acres and lease another 300 acres. Also, the company wants to lease a 320-acre adjacent parcel that has long been believed to be owned by the town. However, ownership is in question and the case is working its way through the legal process.

The proposed wind towers are generally about 300 feet tall. With a blade extended, that height rises above 400 feet.

Source:  By Eileen M. Adams, Staff Writer, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 19 August 2010

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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