Hearing to be held for Maine wind power proposalAP , Associated Press
Jul. 21, 2013 12:43 PM ET
MOSCOW, Maine (AP) — The Department of Environmental Protection is holding a public hearing on a proposal to build a 62-turbine wind farm in north-central Maine.
Blue Sky West, a subsidiary of First Wind Inc., is proposing to build a $398 million project in the Moscow area in Somerset County, about 25 miles north of Skowhegan. If approved and built, it would generate up to 191 megawatts of power, making it the largest wind farm in Maine.
The DEP is holding the first of two public hearings Monday evening at Moscow Elementary School, allowing residents to ask questions and comment on the project.
The company hopes to begin construction in 2014. Bingham and Moscow have agreements with First Wind that they would receive annual payments for years, with Moscow getting $20,000 per year for each turbine within its borders and Bingham getting $8,000 per tower.
Supporters say wind farm projects create jobs, boost tax revenues and cut pollution while generating.
Jeff Nott of Bingham tells the Morning Sentinel (http://bit.ly/12Yxehd) he's concerned about the effects a wind farm would have on birds, trees and the town's tourism industry.
"If somebody could present to me a good reason for why we should have this, I would listen," he said. "But so far I haven't heard one yet."
First Wind has five operating wind farms in Maine, including Mars Hill in Aroostook County, two near Danforth in Washington County, one near Lincoln in Penobscot County and one near Eastbrook in Hancock County. The business is developing another project in Oakfield, in Aroostook County.
Information from: Morning Sentinel, http://www.onlinesentinel.com/