The two largest construction projects by valuation in Maine last year were both wind power developments. Both were built by Reed & Reed Inc. of Woolwich.
The largest project in 2012 was Record Hill Wind in Roxbury in western Maine. The owner is Independence Wind LLC. Robert Gardiner, former executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and former president of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, is the principal. Former Governor Angus King was the other principal, but he sold he stake when he ran for the U.S. Senate. The project is managed by Wagner Wind Energy I, a subsidiary of New Hampshire-based Wagner Forest Management Ltd., which controls more land in Maine than anyone. According to Mainebiz, the value of the 22 turbine Record Hill Wind project is $130 million. The owners received a $102 million federal loan to help finance the project.
The second largest construction project in Maine last year was Bull Hill Wind in Township 16 MD in eastern Hancock County. The owner is Boston-based First Wind, the biggest wind power developer in Maine. Mainebiz lists the value of the 19 turbine project as $76 million. First Wind recently received state DEP approval to erect 18 more, 492-foot tall turbines in Townships 16 and 22 on land owned by billionaire media mogul John Malone. The total cost of that project is estimated to be $110 million.
First Wind already has more than 140 turbines operating in Maine, including Bull Hill. First Wind’s other industrial wind facilities in the state include sites on Mars Hill in Aroostook County (22 turbines), Stetson Mountain in Washington County (55 turbines), and Rollins Mountain in Penobscot County (40 turbines).
Additional wind power projects in Maine proposed by First Wind include Bingham in Piscataquis and Somerset Counties (62 turbines), Oakfield in Aroostook County (34 turbines), and Longfellow in Oxford County (19 turbines).
One First Wind project, Bowers Mountain in Penobscot County (initially 27, then 16 turbines), has been rejected by state environmental regulators.
All industrial-scale wind power projects in Maine have received public subsidies through the federal renewable electricity production tax credit.
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