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Woodstock wind farm up for appeal  

Credit:  By Eileen M. Adams, Staff Writer, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 3 February 2011 ~~

An appeal by Friends of Spruce Mountain involving state Department of Environmental Protection approval for a 10-turbine wind farm in Woodstock will be heard by the Board of Environmental Protection at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The hearing will be held at the Augusta Civic Center.

The DEP approved the project Oct. 5. The Friends of Spruce Mountain submitted an appeal on Nov. 3, according to documentation on the Maine.gov and friendsofsprucemountain.com websites.

Those appealing the wind project claim that such a project would have adverse affects on the area’s economy, particularly as it relates to tourism. The appeal also lists objections to noise, shadow flicker, strobe lights, tree removal, potential dangers to birds and animals and a variety of other possible problems.

This project is one of four Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., is planning for the Western Maine area, and the one that is the most advanced.

While supporters of the appeal and the wind development company are awaiting a determination by the BEP, Patriot Renewables is about to make its first public presentation for a seven-turbine project for Canton Mountain in the town of Canton.

Andy Novey, chief executive officer of the firm, said an informational meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at a building adjacent to the town office.

At that time, administrators and engineers from Patriot will outline plans for the seven, 2.75 megawatt turbines that would be built on leased land. A sound engineer will also present data. A meteorological tower was installed in June 2010 and must continue to gather wind data until June 2011 before going forward.

In the meantime, the wind company has submitted plans to the DEP for building a substation on a two-acre privately purchased parcel located on Ludden Lane. Those plans will go before the Canton Planning Board within a few weeks.

The substation would relay power from the proposed Carthage and Dixfield wind projects if and when they are up and running.

Carthage Selectman Steve Brown said the application for the 12-turbine project planned for Saddleback Mountain ridge in his town was accepted by the DEP on Nov. 15. The state agency has six months to review and act on it.

He said he understands that many wind projects almost automatically are appealed to the BEP.

In Dixfield, 10 to 12 turbines are in the works for the Colonel Holman ridge line. An attempt to pass a wind ordinance failed last year. Some in the town, however, are planning for other ordinances that could curtail the development of that wind project.

Source:  By Eileen M. Adams, Staff Writer, Sun Journal, www.sunjournal.com 3 February 2011

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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