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Developer explores wind project in Essex County

ISLAND POND – A renewable energy company from New Hampshire is the latest developer to proceed with plans to build an industrial wind project in Essex County.

Jack Kensworthy, the head of Eolian Renewable Energy of Portsmouth, said in a recent interview the company is exploring the opportunity of developing a wind farm of up to 25 turbines in the towns of Brighton and Ferdinand.

The development would occur on land owned by logger Dan Ouimette of Colebrook, New Hampshire.

Both he and Mr. Kensworthy appeared before the Brighton selectmen last month to talk over the plan.

According to the minutes of that meeting, the developers are only in the preliminary stages, but have begun environmental and scientific studies in anticipation of going before the Public Service Board (PSB).

Eolian Renewable is a small company that currently has wind projects on the drawing board in both New Hampshire and Maine. According to the Bangor Daily News, the company has unveiled plans to build a ten-megawatt, $25-million wind project in Frankfort, Maine.

Speaking in a telephone interview, Mr. Kensworthy said it is too early in the planning process to know how much power the Vermont project would generate.

He said the company is at least 18 months away from filing a petition with the PSB to seek a certificate of public good for the project.

Most of the turbines are expected to be located in the town of Ferdinand, one of the members of the Unified Towns and Gores (UTGs).

However, Mr. Kensworthy noted that looking east across the lake from downtown Island Pond, the turbines would be visible.

While controversy has dogged the two wind projects in Orleans County, Mr. Kensworthy said that opposition to wind projects is not unique to Vermont. Nor would it scare him off.

“A well sited, well developed project will be supported,” he said.

Repeated efforts to contact Mr. Ouimette were unsuccessful.