AUGUSTA – Representatives from First Wind, an organization attempting to build wind turbines on Bowers Mountain, met with the opposition of their project in front of the Board of Environmental Protection today.
The communities surrounding Bowers Mountain are divided on their opinions of the turbines. Many people are for the new business and more jobs in the area, while others are concerned these huge wind structures might drastically change the view of the landscape.
At today’s hearing, members of the First Wind Project, the Partnership for the Preservation of the DownEast Lakes Watershed, and others for and opposing the project explained their stand on different turbine concerns. Topics discussed included visibility, tourism, blinking lights on top of the turbines to signal planes, and user surveys about the turbines. First Wind says it would be a great loss of money and jobs in the community to not install the turbines while the PPDLW fears that the wind turbines would damage the natural feel around the relatively undeveloped lakes.
“And that’s going to have a serious economic impact on this region because the Downeast region is almost entirely dependent on tourism,” said Gary Campbell, President of the Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed.
“Well it’d be a couple hundred jobs- the better of two hundred jobs with a hundred plus Maine companies working on the job, many of whom were in the room today. They’re ready to go to work, people need to go to work in this state, we need to keep these businesses in this state,” said Matt Kearns, Vice President of Business Development for First Wind.
The BEP chose to delay the final verdict on the project until their next meeting on May 15th.