AUGUSTA – Gov. John Baldacci has named 16 people to a task force on wind power development in Maine.

“I expect great things from the members of this task force,” Baldacci said in a statement issued Friday. “They are extremely talented and experienced, and they have the abilities necessary to advance the development of wind power in Maine.”

The task force, which was created by executive order in May, will review the regulations that affect the development of wind power projects in the state and recommend any changes that would assure that Maine has a balanced, efficient and appropriate regulatory framework for evaluating proposed projects.

The task force will also monitor advances in wind power technology, identify benefits and incentives that might be available to communities considering wind power projects, help developers find the most appropriate locations for their projects, and propose goals for wind power in Maine for 2010 and 2020.

Nearly 50 people sought to join the task force.

“There was tremendous interest in participating with the task force,” said Alec Giffen, the director of the Maine Forest Service who will serve as chairman of the task force. “We will make sure that everyone who is interested can actively participate in the workings of the group.”

Giffen said that those not selected for membership on the task force will be notified of meetings, receive copies of the agenda and be asked to present to the task force as part of a panel or as an interested individual.

The panel, composed of wind power developers, landowners, residents living near wind projects, and utility experts, will advise the task force throughout its deliberations.

The other members are state Sen. Phil Bartlett, D-Gorham; Juliet Browne of Verrill Dana; Pete Didisheim, Natural Resources Council of Maine; Judy Dorsey of Gardiner; state Rep. Stacey Fitts, R-Pittsfield; state Sen. Walter Gooley, R-Farmington; Jody Jones of the Maine Audubon Society; John Kerry, director of the Office of Energy Independence and Security; Kathleen Leyden, State Planning Office; David Littell, commissioner, Department of Environmental Protection; state Rep. W. Bruce MacDonald, D-Boothbay; Milton McBreairty, IBEW Local Union 567 of Lewiston; Pat McGowan, commissioner of the Department of Conservation; Steve Timpano, Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; and David Wilby, Independent Energy Producers of Maine.

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