A planned expansion that would triple the energy output of a wind farm in Clifton is on track to be online next fall.
Halifax, Nova Scotia-based firm SWEB Development Inc. received approval earlier this year to build another five wind turbines alongside the Pisgah Mountain Wind Project’s existing five turbines in Clifton.
The Silver Maple expansion would allow the development to add 20 megawatts in wind energy, resulting in more than triple the Pisgah Mountain project’s current 9-megawatt capacity.
Construction began in May, and costs are estimated to be $16 million, according to documents filed with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
The five additional wind turbines will be online next September, said Michael Carey, SWEB’s development manager.
“We’re building the roads and the turbine foundations this year, and some of the interconnection equipment to plug into the power lines,” he said. “The turbines will arrive next spring and summer and then that will be operational.”
In addition, SWEB Development is asking the DEP to transfer its ownership of the Silver Maple expansion to another entity known as WEB Silver Maple Wind LLC. The two will share a parent company, Austrian developer WEB Windenergie, which operates 200 wind farms all over the world, and their management will be identical.
It’s standard practice in the renewable energy industry for firms like SWEB to create smaller companies that are solely devoted to one project, Carey said.
Clifton approved the project after discussion about residents’ concerns about noise and flicker exposure from the turbine blades.
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