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Commission denies petition for expedited wind turbine permitting

State planners are throwing a roadblock up against plans for 133 new wind turbines in western Maine.

The Land Use Planning Commission on Tuesday denied a petition from Nextera Energy to expand the geographic area of a special zone where wind projects get streamlined permitting treatment. The Commission ruled that the requested 25,000-acre expansion in the Chain of Ponds area was not a “logical geographic extension” of the existing zone.

The proposed Moose and Alder Stream wind farms could serve electricity customers in Massachusetts through a new transmission line proposed by Central Maine Power. Massachusetts regulators are due to announce winning bids next month.

A Nextera spokesman says the company is considering its next moves, but emphasizes that the company still can pursue other permitting options for the project.

The expansion of the expedited permitting area was opposed by several environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Council of Maine.