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Chamber members get up-close look at Bull Hill wind turbines

TOWNSHIP 16 – More than 30 members of the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce made the long, winding and bumpy drive to the Bull Hill wind farm March 12 to get an up-close look at the facility’s 19 turbines.

Operations Manager Andy Doak gave a presentation to the group, and answered questions ranging from how ice storms affect the turbines to where the turbine parts originate from.

Charlie Baldwin, development project coordinator for First Wind, said when he sees wind turbines he sees a “strong future for the state of Maine” because of the energy and jobs that are generated.

Doak was asked where the electricity generated at Bull Hill goes. He said it is physically used in Maine, but “on paper” it goes to companies elsewhere in New England that have signed power purchase agreements with First Wind.

He said Bull Hill was an ideal site for a wind farm because logging roads already were in place. High-voltage cables were buried underneath the road, reducing visual impact, and power is fed to an Emera Maine transmission line that already was in place.

Doak said the wind resource at Bull Hill, at the height of the top of the turbines, “is just fabulous.” If the turbines were shorter, the wind resource would not be as good.