ROXBURY, Maine – Town leaders in the western Maine town of Roxbury say a legal appeal has tied up financing for a 22-turbine wind farm.
Selectmen say work was supposed to begin this month on Record Hill Wind’s $120 million project, but construction will have to await the outcome of a legal battle.
Record Hill principal Robert Gardiner tells the Sun Journal newspaper that the wind project opponents’ appeal has tied up financing pending a favorable decision.
Gardiner says the Maine supreme court will hear arguments later this fall. The project was approved by Maine environmental regulators in August 2009.
The unanimous ruling also upheld the constitutionality of a state law fast-tracking the permit process for Maine wind farms.
“The Supreme Court appeal of licenses is an obstacle to the financing,” Gardiner said. “We had hoped to resume construction late this summer but are in a holding pattern awaiting the outcome of the Supreme Court case, which, in turn, is necessary to clear the way for project financing.
“Although the times are challenging for financing, generally, and for energy projects in particular, we are in active and positive discussions on the financing package, subject to final negotiations and a favorable court decision,” Gardiner said.
He said Record Hill Wind has continued to monitor erosion control measures that were installed last fall to ensure no runoff from the project is reaching Roxbury Pond.
The comapny also provided the town of Roxbury with necessary funding for water quality testing this summer at the pond.
Completed work so far includes the access road, minus a surface coat of fine gravel, a crane path for the seven southernmost turbines and turbine pads for all seven, Gardiner said.
Despite the delay, the project is still on track to be completed by the end of next year.
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