MOSCOW, Maine – A former U.S. Air Force radar station in Maine’s northern forest has been purchased by a trio of New England companies including Cianbro of Pittsfield, according to a release issued by the companies Monday.
The others two companies involved in the purchase are Conroy Development Corporation and Jay Cashman, Inc., both of Massachusetts.
The former installation includes approximately 1,300 acres, about 30,000 square feet of buildings, a substation, and a power line that services the site, according to the release.
“The town of Moscow has been extremely supportive of the communications we’ve had now for several years, and really are interested in exploring ways to generate electricity on site, the first of which could be wind power,” said Cianbro CEO Pete Vigue.
According to the release, the former base has many advantages for generating electricity including its remote location and its pre-existing infrastructure like roads, power lines and substations.
“So, this should not be a situation where we’re going to have to disrupt anybody’s quality of life,” Vigue said.
The base is a Cold War relic and was used to help relay over-the-horizon radar information. It was acquired by the federal government in the 1970s and was decomissioned fully about 3 years ago, Vigue said in a phone interview Monday.
Vigue said while wind was one type of energy that could be generated at the site there were other possibilities as well but he did not elaborate.
“The wonderful thing about it, at least in the eyes of the Town of Moscow, since the site was acquired by the federal government in the 1970s it didn’t pay taxes and now it’s back on the tax rolls,” Vigue said. “And I know the community is very happy about that to say nothing about the value we will add to the site in the coming years.”
He said buildings on the former base have been cleaned up over the last few weeks and that because of its remote and secure location those properties would be marketable to companies beyond Maine.
“This is not just a localized search we are looking at in terms of attracting investments,” Vigue said. “We believe because the site has its own substation, it has access to power, the site is isolated that it will attract interest in investment from entities that want secure site that has some size and scale to it.”
Moscow Selectmen Elvin Hawes praised the development saying the town was happy to see something happen with the site since it was closed years ago.
“We’ve been waiting for something good to happen up there ever since the installation was shut down, and now we’re very excited about the economic opportunities that are on the horizon,” Hawes said in a prepared statement. “That’s in contrast to what we’ve seen in recent years – vandalism at the site, and a slow decline to the point where the property was becoming decrepit.”
Vigue said his company didn’t typically release details on what it pays for properties as part of its standard business practices.
More details on this development will be posted here as they become available.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding