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Former Gov. Angus King to update Bethel Chamber on Maine wind power

BETHEL – Former Gov. Angus King will give a progress report on wind power in Maine at the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast forum from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The breakfast will be held in the South Dining Room at The Bethel Inn Resort.

Currently, there are 173 operating wind turbines in Maine, which provide 325.5 megawatts of installed capacity, Robin Zinchuk, chamber executive director, stated in a Thursday report.

That’s enough to power more than 114,000 homes at 25 percent capacity factor, and there are 77 more turbines currently under construction or that have received permits, she said.

Developers have spent nearly $1 billion since 2004 on these wind projects, which have created a stream of new state and local tax revenues, while employing hundreds of Maine people, she said.

“Governor King’s presentation is called ‘Wind Power in Maine: A Progress Report,’ a timely and important topic for all of Maine to consider,” Zinchuk said.

She said King welcomes the opportunity to speak to businesses and friends of the Bethel Area Chamber. He will also answer questions from the audience.

King served as governor of Maine from 1995-2003. His diverse background includes practicing law, serving as a U.S. Senate staff person, and developing hydroelectric and biomass power plants.

Additionally, King has been a successful energy efficiency entrepreneur; a PBS-radio and TV commentator, and most recently, a visiting professor at Bowdoin College.

King and business partner Rob Gardiner are currently constructing a 22-turbine wind farm atop Roxbury hills that will be operational by November or December.

Registration is $15 ($10 for members of the chamber), which includes a full buffet breakfast.

Space is limited, Zinchuk said, so attendees are asked to RSVP and prepay by Friday, Oct. 7, by calling the chamber at 824-2282. Credit cards are accepted.