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Wind projects continue in Franklin County

FARMINGTON – Wind projects continue in Franklin County with Saddleback Ridge Wind Project in Carthage bringing 12, 450-feet tall, 2.75 megawatt turbines to the area, enough to power 15,000 homes per year, with a tentative completion date of the summer of 2012, pending permit approvals.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection accepted permit applications from Patriot Renewables of South Quincy, Mass., for the site location of development and the Natural Resources Protection Act on Nov. 15, 2010. They are awaiting final approval, and the project should be complete during the summer of 2012. It will take six to nine months to complete the project, and it will employ 50 to 70 workers during the construction phase. Long-term, the project will create two to four full-time jobs.

The project is assessed at $66 million, $58 million which is in Carthage, increasing the tax base for the town by 180 percent. The town can choose to use the money to lower property taxes or fund public projects. The project will contribute at least $48,000 to a community benefit fund each year for the life of the project. The project will also give $60,000 to the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands to be used for conservation projects.

Eight miles of transmission lines will go through Dixfield and Carthage. The Quincy, Mass., based company has been gathering wind data from that area since October 2008.

Alison Hagerstrom, Executive Director of the Greater Franklin Development Corp., wanted to appraise commissioners of the project. Project manager Andy Novey and Project coordinator, Tom Carroll, and Carthage Selectman Steve Brown were on hand to explain benefits of the project.

Patriot Renewables has three other projects in the area: Spruce Mountain Wind in Woodstock; Canton Mountain Wind in Canton; and TimberWinds in Dixfield; as well as Savoy and Adams Wind in Savoy and Adams, Mass.