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Minor change to Roxbury wind project OK’d by DEP

ROXBURY – The Maine Department of Environmental Protection on Friday approved a small modification to the estimated $125 million Record Hill Wind project that will site 22 turbines on town ridges.

The minor revision eliminates the project’s collector substation and its associated road, according to a notice from the MDEP that was e-mailed Tuesday afternoon.

That causes a decrease of 27,797 square feet of impervious area and a decrease of 2,675 square feet of permanent impact to freshwater wetlands, Beth Callahan, MDEP’s project manager, stated in the report.

However, Record Hill Wind principal Rob Gardiner said early Tuesday evening that Callahan’s report is “misleading,” because they’re not eliminating the collector substation.

He described the change as eliminating that part of the design for an on-mountain collector station and moving it 100 yards down to where the substation was planned.

“So now you have a substation and a collector substation together on the footprint of what originally was the substation,” Gardiner said.

“It’s basically shrinking the footprint of the project in that area, and so that’s why it’s a minor modification. Every environmental impact of it is reduced, and nothing is increased.”

Gardiner said the change increases the land efficiency, “and it will save us a little money, because we don’t have as much clearing and site work to do.”

Callahan said the MDEP didn’t identify any issues during its review of the project and found that the requested minor revision meets all relevant departmental standards.

Gardiner and former Maine Gov. Angus King are principals of the Record Hill Wind project planned for the ridgeline that connects Partridge Peak, Record Hill and Flathead Mountain.

The MDEP initially approved the 50.6 megawatt project in late August 2009.