First Wind Opens 26-MW Stetson Wind II

First Wind this week marked the completion of the 26-megawatt (MW) expansion of its Stetson Wind project. The first phase of the Stetson Wind project was a 57 MW facility that commenced operations in January 2009.

First Wind filed its permit application with the Main Land Use Regulatory Commision (LURC) for the Stetson Wind expansion project on in November 2008. In March 2009, First Wind received approval from the LURC to build the 26 MW expansion or second phase of its Stetson Wind project.

Breaking ground in November 2009, the expansion was managed by Reed & Reed and created about 200 construction jobs to install the 17 additional GE 1.5 MW wind turbines. First Wind hires in-state businesses to conduct much of the needed work. When combined with the first phase of the project, the Stetson Wind project is now an 83 MW facility.

“Today, we are very pleased to commemorate the successful expansion of our Stetson Wind project,” said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “Not only is the Stetson Wind project currently the largest wind energy project in operation in Maine and New England, but it is also a powerful example of the strong economic impact that these projects can have on the region. During construction, First Wind spent millions with Maine-based businesses and created hundreds of development and construction jobs.”

Last year, Harvard University announced that it will purchase half of the power generated by the Stetson Wind II facility as well as the associated Renewable Energy Certificates, making Harvard one of the largest institutional wind energy purchasers in the U.S.

The first phase of the Stetson project began generating power on a commercial basis and delivering it to the New England electrical grid in January 2009. Construction on that phase of the project began in January 2008 and created 350 development and construction jobs. During the development phase, First Wind spent approximately US $50 million with Maine-based businesses developing and building the project.

To get an up close look at the project, watch the video below.

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