Two-day public hearing slated on wind energy expansion proposal

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CARRABASSETT VALLEY — State land regulators will hold a two-day public hearing Tuesday and Wednesday on TransCanada’s proposed expansion of the Kibby Wind Power Project on Sisk Mountain in northern Franklin County.

The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission plans to visit the site where TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. wants to install 15 additional wind turbines in Kibby and Chain of Ponds townships, near the Canadian border.

TransCanada is in the midst of building a $320 million wind energy facility. It installed 22 of 44 turbines to be built on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Kibby and Skinner townships last year. The remaining turbines are to be installed this year.

The new facility would be located within the state’s so-called expedited permitting area for wind energy development in LURC’s Mountain Area Protection Subdistrict and General Management Subdistrict. The proposal is to install 15 turbines on a ridgeline north of Sisk Mountain, a 34.5 kV collector line and substation, an access road and a short 115 kV line connecting to the existing Kibby Substation, according to LURC staff.

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Commissioners will hold the public hearing on the development permit at the Sugarloaf Grand Summit Conference Center, 5092 Access Road, Carrabassett Valley.

Commissioners plan to leave at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 11, to visit the site. Public testimony is scheduled to be given during the evening sessions that begin at 6 p.m. both Tuesday and Wednesday, May 12. Opening statements and an overview of the project will be given prior to the public being able to speak.

At 9 a.m. on Wednesday, the presiding hearing officer will again give the opening statement followed by staff statements and administrative history. The applicant will give a summary of the proposal and present direct testimony. It will be followed by cross examination of the applicant.

After a noon-hour lunch, the hearing will reconvene and official testimony will continue at 1 p.m.

dperry@sunjournal.com

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