RUMFORD – Wind turbines came into Maine with a boom but two projects were able to go online without making a sound this month.
Patriot Renewables LLC in Woodstock and Record Hill Wind LLC in Roxbury have commissioned most, if not all, of their wind turbines, meeting their project deadlines for the end of 2011.
The 10 turbines on Spruce Mountain in Woodstock have been commissioned and are sending power to the grid, Tom Carroll, project coordinator for Patriot Renewables, said.
Gordon Gamble, director of community relations for Record Hill Wind, said all 22 turbines in Roxbury are operational and producing power but not all have been commissioned.
Gamble said they are still testing some of the turbines and the company expects all of the turbines to be commissioned in a week or two.
Record Hill Wind’s permits were approved by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in the fall of 2009. Patriot Renewables’ permit process was approved by the DEP in the fall of 2010.
Both companies faced appeals from groups that were against wind turbines in Maine, which slowed the construction process.
A group called Concerned Citizens of Roxbury lost its appeal after it went to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Friends of Spruce Mountain went through the same appeal process but finally settled out of court with Patriot Renewables.
Record Hill is a 50.6 megawatt wind project and Patriot Renewables’ project in Woodstock is 20 megawatts.
Both Carroll and Gamble said they have heard few complaints from citizens about noise level or flicker effect, which was a heated issue for many in the area.
The companies also recently held open houses allowing the public to tour the wind projects.
Carroll said he believed that there was a lot of misinformation about wind projects and allowing citizens to see it for themselves helped to calm fears and even turned some opponents into wind power proponents.
Record Hill Wind representatives said that for now, the Roxbury project is the only wind farm that they will be building in the area.
Patriot Renewables, however, has three other projects planned for the Oxford County towns of Dixfield, Carthage and Canton.
Currently the Carthage project has permits approved through the DEP, but earlier this month Friends of Maine Mountains filed an appeal citing several issues, including the preservation of Mount Blue State Park.
Andy Novey, project developer for Patriot Renewables, said the company has filed permits with DEP for Canton and is waiting for them to be approved.
The project, which the company hopes will be constructed in the summer of 2013, is planned for Canton Mountain and seeks seven turbines.
The Dixfield project, which is planned for Colonel Holman Mountain, calls for 13 turbines.
Carroll said the company is moving forward and has plans to conduct required wildlife studies in the spring.
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