Maine Approves 50 MW Wind Power Plant

The State of Maine’s first wind power project, and one of the largest wind facilities in the NorthEeast, second only to the 64.5-megawatt Waymart Wind Farm in Pennsylvania, has secured the necessary approval to push forward construction.

Augusta, Maine – June 10, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) approved the construction of the Mars Hill Wind Power Project. The 50-megawatt project will consist of 30 wind turbines along a ridge and plateau at Mars Hill in northern Maine. “With this project, Maine is taking a significant step to ease our over-reliance on fossil fuels for electrical generation,” Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Dawn R. Gallagher. “While some fuels pollute less than others, and all power generators are subject to strict environmental controls, there will be emissions nonetheless. Not so with wind. From an air quality standpoint, it truly is ‘clean.’ Gallagher added that fossil fuels are finite commodities, and we see today in the spike in gas prices how diminishing supply affects energy costs. Adding wind power to the generation mix will make the country less susceptible to market pressures and will help slow the depletion of irreplaceable natural resources, she said. Evergreen Windpower and the Town of Mars Hill submitted the project for state review. As approved, it will cover nearly 116 acres and include road upgrades, underground and overhead lines, a sub station and a switching station, and a maintenance facility. Maximum combined height of a tower and a turbine will be approximately 389 feet. Although there is no evidence to suggest that the project will interfere with bird migration, DEP is requiring post-construction monitoring to ensure minimum environmental impact. Both nearby Massachusetts and Vermont have utility-scale wind power projects. New Hampshire, with no commercial wind projects, could now be surrounded entirely by states that do.
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