CANTON — Planning Board members Thursday night began discussions on ordinances they should review and meetings they should call regarding a tentatively planned wind turbine project for Canton Mountain.
The discussion was triggered by a plan by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., to build a substation in the west section of town that would serve both Canton Mountain and Carthage turbine projects.
Kathy Hutchins, chairman of the Planning Board, said Patriot has not yet submitted an official application for a wind project. The company has, however, received a permit from the town to erect a meteorological tower to measure wind speed and direction, and has had it in place for several months atop Canton Mountain.
A tentative plan for Canton Mountain, elevation 1,549 feet, calls for building from seven to 10 turbines on private property. The substation would be located on Ludden Lane, which is off Canton Point Road.
A transmission line would run from the proposed Saddleback Mountain project in Carthage, through Dixfield, then to the substation, which would be very close to the Central Maine Power transmission lines.
The Carthage project calls for building up to 12 turbines on purchased or leased private land.
Hutchins wants to hold a public informational session on the proposal sometime after Christmas with representatives from Patriot explaining their plan.
“We'd like to know how Canton feels about it (a wind project),” Hutchins said.
But before that happens, the board wants to review the town's commercial use and building permit ordinances. The town does not have a wind ordinance and no zoning.
Board member Tom Adley said he has heard complaints from people that a wind project would bring noise.
“But you can hear the mill,” he said.
He said, too, that very few people live on or around Canton Mountain, with the nearest home more than a mile from any proposed towers.
Hutchins said she has seen turbines in other states.
“They are no big deal and could bring in a lot of tax dollars,” she said.
When the public informational meeting is held in January, Hutchins wants examples of decibel levels so people can have a better understanding.
The board will meet Dec. 2 to review any ordinances that may apply to a wind energy project.