Eddington, like many other small rural Maine communities has plenty of land and some windy mountaintops. But up until now, what it’s lacked is a set of rules for developing wind turbines on those mountaintops.
Planning Board Vice Chairwoman Susan Dunham Shane says the board has worked for more than a year and a half on a large scale and small scale wind facility draft ordinance. Some highlights from the document include: 1 mile setbacks for large scale wind turbines, height restrictions of 400 feet, And noise levels not to exceed 50 decibels or DBa during the day and 40 DBa at night.
Andrew Price, a project manager for a wind developer, say that this proposed ordinance would essentially ban wind development.
“You will not find a single wind turbine in any town that has an ordinance like this,” Price said.
Price’s company, Competitive Energy Services had to put projects on hold indefinately in Dixmont, Jackson and Thorndike after those communities passed similar ordinances. Price says a one mile setback would mean that a wind developer would need 2 thousand acres of land for one turbine.
Susan Dunham Shane said that the board took a lot of information into account when adopting standards for setbacks, and if they are too restrictive for developers she had this advice.
“I say that if you are a size 20 woman and the only dress available is a size 6 you really shouldn’t buy that dress.”
The public hearing takes place Thursday night at 6:30 at the Eddington Town Office. This is the first of two public hearings on the draft ordinance to gather input. A final draft will be voted on at the town meeting on March 22nd.
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