Quietly, the Saddleback Ridge Wind Project is moving forward.
Patriot Renewables of Quincy, Mass., the developer behind the project, said Wednesday it will put in place lower nighttime sound limits in accordance with a court ruling earlier in the week. That means the windmill noise levels will be kept at 42 decibels or less instead the previously allowed level of 45.
Saddleback Ridge Wind will be located in Carthage and will consist of 12 wind turbines, each with a rated capacity of about 2.85 megawatts, according to Patriot Renewables literature. The project has a total capacity of 34.2 megawatts and will produce more than 100 million kilowatt-hours of clean emission-free, renewable energy, or enough to power approximately 16,000 homes. Construction is expected to begin later this year, with completion expected in mid-2014.
"Patriot Renewables and Saddleback Ridge Wind are fully prepared to comply with the newer sound limits," Todd Presson, chief operating officer for Patriot Renewables, said. "Despite the fact that these sound levels were not in place when this project was originally permitted, we are prepared to abide by the ruling of the Law Court and are encouraged by the decision regarding the other points of the appeal."
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday vacated a decision by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection over nighttime sound requirements for the project.
Writing for the court, Justice Warren Silver said the nighttime decibel level should be 42 or below.
Patriot Renewables issued a statement late Wednesday in response to the ruling.
"At the end of the day, this is about creating clean energy, making responsible investments — both in terms of economics and the environment, and putting people to work building this project," Presson said. "We are happy to be making these investments in Western Maine and look forward to breaking ground."