Up to 50 turbines, $218 million investment planned for Western Maine mountains

DIXFIELD — If all four proposed wind turbine projects proposed by Patriot Renewables LLC are developed as tentatively planned, the Quincy, Mass., company will spend nearly $220 million to build up to 50 turbines in Oxford and Franklin counties.

The four projects are all in various stages of planning, with tentative plans to start work on the 10-turbine project on Woodstock's Spruce Mountain sometime in the fall. The estimated cost is between $40 million and $45 million.

Andy Novey, project manager for all four proposals, said the environmental application for the Woodstock project is under review by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

The company would construct its project on about 2,900 leased or owned acres. Only a small portion of the land would be used for access roads and turbines. The rest would be left unused.

The Canton project is in the earliest stages. A meteorological tower was installed on Canton Mountain on leased property a couple of months ago. The tower measures wind strength and direction. If the project goes through, it will include 10 turbines that will produce about 20 megawatts of electricity and cost between $40 million and $45 million.

The other two projects are in Dixfield and Carthage.

A special committee has been developing a wind ordinance for the past few months in Dixfield. Townspeople will have a chance to attend public hearings in October on the proposed ordinance, and to vote on the final document in November.

Patriot has proposed building up to 13 turbines on the ridge that includes Colonel Holman Mountain on leased land in Dixfield. That project would cost between $40 million and $60 million.

Novey said his company would review the ordinance once it is passed, then go forward with the prescribed guidelines. Dixfield residents voted in a one-year moratorium while the ordinance was being written.

In Carthage, where a majority of residents defeated a moratorium on wind farm development a few months ago, tentative plans are to construct up to 17 turbines, valued at $68 million, on the Saddleback Mountain ridge.

Patriot has options to buy 1,300 acres and lease another 300 acres. Also, the company wants to lease a 320-acre adjacent parcel that has long been believed to be owned by the town. However, ownership is in question and the case is working its way through the legal process.

The proposed wind towers are generally about 300 feet tall. With a blade extended, that height rises above 400 feet.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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 's picture

Investment???

After Wednesday night's meeting at Dirigo High School in Dixfield, there can't be any doubt in the minds of the people of the river valley and western mountains that industrial wind is ANYTHING but a sound investment. Acoustical engineer Rob Rand gave an excellent, well-researched, fact-based presentation on wind turbine sounds and how they travel, what their properties are, and how they affect people living within 2 or more miles. And economist and financial advisor J Dwight explained the financial aspect of industrial wind. Where the money comes from, where it goes, how IW will affect electrical rates, and why the push to install hundreds of miles of wind turbines along the mountain ridges of Maine is nothing but a scam. A government sanctioned scam to misappropriate tax-payers' hard-earned money and redistribute it among a few wind energy companies-- Independence Wind (i.e. Highland Wind LLC), Trans-Canada, First Wind, Patriot Renewables, and the like.

The "investment" must not be allowed to go forward. The more I learn, the more appalled I become at what we are allowing to happen here in our state. I urge every reader-- every citizen-- to become informed. Get the facts. Speak to and listen to experts... scientists, economists, environmentalists, and your friends and neighbors whom you trust to have common sense. This "investment" will not benefit the people of Maine, nor will it be good for this land which sustains us in every way imaginable. Industrial wind is not the panacea the wind industry touts it as being. This is all about the money... scads of it. Scads of OUR money. Please, get the facts and then exercise your right as an American to say NO! Before it is too late and we find we've done nothing to protect our land, our homes, our health and OUR investments. It's time WE, the tax-payers and the people with common sense, stop buying the propaganda that wealthy corporations (or in First Wind's case, not so financially stable corporations, perhaps?) feed us. We need to resume control of the direction in which this state should go, and look out for each other and our future. If science and economics say "NO!", then what are we waiting for? Please, make a stand and take back your power.

Industrial Wind is a terrible mistake, and the only "investment" is that we are spending OUR money and sacrificing OUR mountains and quality of place and quality of life to make wind industry executives wealthy. When our 'investment capital' stops coming their way, they will be gone-- moving on to greener pastures. And we will be left with hundreds of massive rusting relics to remind us of our folly. See http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/02/wind_energys_ghosts_1.html for an example of one state which had to learn the hard way. Let's learn from their mistakes. Let's be proactive. Let's be brave. And let's make IW PROVE what they say, rather than swallowing every line they feed us. There are many more financially sound ways in which to invest our tax dollars and make our environment healthier. Let's make Maine a state that leads in COMMON SENSE. All other benefits will follow.

Respectfully,
Karen Pease, a native Mainer and a proud NIMBY. Not In Maine's Back Yard!
Lexington Twp., Maine

 's picture

Patriot Renewables & First Wind are the same ilk

Patriot Renewables seems to be taking a page from the strategy First Wind uses up in the northeastern highlands of Maine. Like First Wind, Patriot is picking out target towns where they believe they can bamboozle local officials into grabbing the tiny bit of revenue dangled in front of them because they are so desperate they will sell out their town's natural resources and community members. They deliberately misinform the public with half truths and self-serving statements they try to pass off as reliable information. But the people are catching on.

Do we want to blast away the mountain tops, permanently clearcutting them to stick up 400 foot tall wind turbines? Will there be a vista anywhere in Oxford County that will not have these huge industrial machines marring it? How many people who sought out the peaceful rural life will have their lives changed dramatically by the noise and the ill health effects of the low frequency sound waves emanating from the turbines? Will sensitive wildlife be driven away and how many bird and bat fatalities will there be?

Not just the targeted towns, but all towns, must enact moratoriums to give them a chance to take control of their own destiny. Rumford just revealed the results of months of painstaking work on a wind ordinance. True to their desperation to find places to stick their turbines so they can reap taxpayer subsidies and sell phantom REC's, First Wind screamed foul. Well, First Wind and Patriot Renewables want to make the fast bucks while they can. Both companies teeter on financial solvency and are wholly dependent on the subsidy scam. Both companies go out of business with lowered subsidies. Then area communities are stuck with useless junk all over the mountains.

 's picture

twilight zone

Just to suggest such an ugly development for erratic miniscule power would make a great episode for the Twilight Zone. It can't be true. Can people really screw the outdoors for nothing?

 's picture

220 million

220 million of our tax dollar spent on turbines made overseas ow
no jobs for us yet
destroy the earth to save the earth go figure

 's picture

No wind turbines in Dixfield

The meeting last night in Dixfield was definitive. Min. set backs for wind turbines needs to be 7000 feet. Depending on topology that min. might need to be increased to 3 miles. That makes Holman Mountain and its Ridge line unacceptable for Wind Turbines.
Just say NO.

GARY SAVARD's picture

A nuclear power plant would

A nuclear power plant would be so much less intrusive and so much more efficient. This whole wind energy push is designed to make a few people a lot of money fast in a down economy. When the dust settles, Maine will be no better off as far as electric rates are concerned, the carbon footprint won't have been reduced by any significant amount, and our reliance on oil will be close to the same as now. Bad joke on Mainers by Baldy and company.

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