The wind sector is suffering from its own success. In the last decade the industry has expanded from a handful of wind farm developers to a plethora. These companies have left hardly a stone unturned – or rather a breeze unmeasured – in their quest for prime, onshore wind power sites.

The Maine Opportunity The state of Maine is in a lucky position. Poised at the northern -most point of the power hungry US Northeast, the state has a ready market for the power it generates. While Maine has large, wind and desolate swaths of land ideal for wind power, its neighbors to the south – particularly Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island – have little room for wind farms. These heavily populated states need wind energy, or at least the renewable energy credits the projects generate. The three states have aggressive state mandates to add a growing percentage of renewables to their power portfolios each year. While Maine appears to have ready buyers, like so many other states, it is mired in controversy over who will build and pay for the transmission lines to get its wind power to market. First Wind, an independent wind developer based in Boston, skirted the controversy by building its own 38 mile (60 km), 115 kV transmission line to interconnect the Stetson Wind project. Its willingness to develop transmission differentiates First Wind from similar developers, according to Navigant's Stanberry. In pursuing this course, First Wind took on a host of additional projects risks associated with permitting and community support. The risks have apparently paid off. The first 57 MW phase of Stetson Wind began operating in January 2009 and a 26 MW expansion in April 2010. Harvard University is purchasing half of the power generated by the second phase, along with renewable energy credits.