MOSCOW —  A former U.S. Air Force radar station in this Somerset County town has been purchased by a trio of New England companies, including Cianbro of Pittsfield, according to a release issued by the companies Monday.

The other two are Conroy Development Corp. and Jay Cashman Inc., both of Massachusetts.

The former government installation includes approximately 1,300 acres, about 30,000 square feet of buildings, a substation, and a power line that services the site, according to the release. It’s about 25 road miles northwest of Skowhegan.

“The town of Moscow has been extremely supportive of the communications we’ve had now for several years, and really is interested in exploring ways to generate electricity on site, the first of which could be wind power,” Cianbro CEO Pete Vigue said.

According to the release, the former base has many advantages for generating electricity, including its remote location and its pre-existing infrastructure such as roads, power lines and substations.

“So, this should not be a situation where we’re going to have to disrupt anybody’s quality of life,” Vigue said. 

The base is a Cold War relic. The radar system scanned the skies from Greenland to Cuba for approaching Soviet missiles and planes before it was shut down in the 1990s.  

The property was acquired by the federal government in the 1970s and was decommissioned fully about three years ago, Vigue said in a phone interview Monday.

Vigue said while wind was one type of energy that could be generated at the site, there were other possibilities as well but he did not elaborate.

“The wonderful thing about it, at least in the eyes of the town of Moscow, since the site was acquired by the federal government in the 1970s it didn’t pay taxes and now it’s back on the tax rolls,” Vigue said. “And I know the community is very happy about that, to say nothing about the value we will add to the site in the coming years.”

He said buildings on the former base have been cleaned up over the last few weeks, and because of their remote and secure locations, those properties would be marketable to companies beyond Maine.

“This is not just a localized search we are looking at in terms of attracting investments,” Vigue said. “We believe because the site has its own substation, it has access to power, the site is isolated that it will attract interest in investment from entities that want secure site that has some size and scale to it.”

Moscow Selectman Elvin Hawes praised the development, saying the town was happy to see something happen with the site since it was closed years ago.

“We’ve been waiting for something good to happen up there ever since the installation was shut down, and now we’re very excited about the economic opportunities that are on the horizon,” Hawes said in a written statement. “That’s in contrast to what we’ve seen in recent years — vandalism at the site, and a slow decline to the point where the property was becoming decrepit.”

Vigue said his company didn’t typically release details on what it pays for properties as part of its standard business practices. 

The Air Force sold the property in December for $730,000 to a real estate firm with ties to Jay Cashman, Inc.

[email protected]

View Moscow, Maine in a larger map

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.