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State planning commission postpones wind energy meeting

FARMINGTON – The Maine Land Use Planning Commission has postponed its meeting to consider whether to initiate rule-making to expand the expedited wind power permitting area in northern Franklin and Somerset counties.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 19, beginning at 9 a.m., but a review of NextEra Energy Resources’ petition to expand the permitting area for wind energy development is scheduled for 1 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Spectacular Events Center at 395 Griffin Road in Bangor.

NextEra requested about 24,777 acres be added to the expedited permitting area in the townships of Chain of Ponds, Seven Ponds and Skinner, all in Franklin County, and T5 R6 BKP WKR in Somerset County.

The request is to support the development of NextEra’s Moose-Alder Stream wind power generation facility of up to 460 megawatts, according to NextEra’s petition.

According to the petition, the overall project would put about 133 wind towers in seven townships in separate areas north and south of Route 27.

The commission’s options are to initiate rule-making or to deny the petition, the commission’s Chief Planner Stacie Beyer said.