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57-MW Stetson Wind Farm Starts Commercial Operations in Maine

First Wind has confirmed that commercial operations have started at its Stetson Wind farm. Situated in Washington County, Maine, Stetson Wind will have the capacity to generate enough energy to power approximately 23,500 New England homes per year.

Stetson Wind, a 57 megawatt (MW) project, will surpass First Wind’s Mars Hill facility as the largest wind energy project in operation in the State of Maine. The project consists of 38 General Electric 1.5-MW wind turbines, and will have the capacity to generate approximately 167 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity every year.  

“The Stetson Wind project continues Maine’s aggressive leadership in pursuing energy independence,” said Maine Governor John Baldacci. “We are capitalizing on the clean, renewable sources of energy that exist in our State, like wind, solar and tidal. By harnessing these sources of energy locally, we keep money in our State and we create jobs in our State, all while improving our environment and our national security.”

The project officially began generating power on a commercial basis and delivering it to the New England electrical grid earlier this week. Construction on the project began in January 2008. The project created 350 development and construction jobs and First Wind spent approximately US $50 million with Maine-based businesses developing and building the project.

“Today, we are proud to mark the commencement of commercial operations of our Stetson Wind project,” said Paul Gaynor, president and CEO of First Wind. “With nearly 100 MW of clean, wind energy being generated between Stetson Wind and our Mars Hill project, we’re making renewable wind power in Maine a reality and plan to continue our commitment to the state through a number of other projects already in development.”

First Wind plans to build additional projects in Maine, including a proposed 25.5-MW expansion at Stetson Wind, as well as the 60-MW Rollins Wind project near the town of Lincoln. First Wind has submitted permit applications with state agencies for both projects.

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