An aerial view of Mahoosuc Land Trust’s Rumford Whitecap Preserve.

ROXBURY — Roxwind LLC has submitted a Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit application for the Roxwind Project, located in Roxbury on North Twin Mountain.

The project would produce 15.2 Megawatts (MW) of power and includes access roads and overhead and underground collection lines.
Roxbury Board Chairman John Sutton confirmed that the public hearing on whether the proposed project meets the relevant statutory and regulatory licensing requirements will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday at the Roxbury Town Hall, 1095 Roxbury Road.
The entire hearing will be open to the public. The daytime session will be devoted to receiving testimony from the parties (applicant and intervenors).
DEP will hold an evening session from 6-8 on Monday, also at the Roxbury Town Hall, to receive testimony from the public.
Public input can also be provided by sending written comments via mail to: Maine Department of Environmental Protection, Attn: Erle Townsend, 17 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0017, or via e-mail to [email protected]
The proposed project would consist of four GE 3.8 KWh turbines, each 492 feet tall (as stated in Roxwind’s application), approximately 83 feet taller than the existing Record Hill towers in Roxbury to the north, and approximately 1 mile closer to Whitecap.
The closest of these towers is only 2.4 miles from the summit of Whitecap and it is possible that some of the west facing clearings would be visible from Whitecap.
The towers would be highly visible. The closest Record Hill tower, visible from Whitecap, is 4.6 miles distant. The towers on Spruce Mountain, distantly visible from Whitecap, are more than 8 miles away.
The power generated would be fed into existing Central Maine Power lines at the base of the mountain. Access to the towers would be south from Rte. 120 on Horseshoe Valley Road.
To build the project, 1.7 miles of road and crane road, 24 to 36 feet wide, and 4 pad areas approximately 1 to 2 acres in size would be cut from the forest. The total project is estimated to require clearing of 16.9 to 18.4 acres. Following completion of the project, all except 3.5 acres would be re-vegetated.
Kirk G. Siegel, executive director with Mahoosuc Land Trust, said the project would be within plain view of the summit of Whitecap Mountain.
He said the State of Maine invested $243,000 from Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) funds toward the original $750,000 purchase of Whitecap to preserve these views and the enjoyable hiking experience for the public.
Siegel said that while MLT has not taken a position in opposition to the project and is mindful of the importance of non-fossil fuel energy sources, the MLT board of directors urges its members, supporters, and the public to learn about the project and provide input to the DEP.
The DEP’s consultant who reviewed RoxWind’s proposal concluded that the application did not adequately consider the visual effects of clearing and grading, as seen from Whitecap.
An independent study prepared for the DEP by LandWorks also questions whether the proposed new towers would detract from the scenic value and the enjoyment of the thousands of people who hike Whitecap.
The new towers would be approximately centered in the existing view to the northeast between Black Mountain and the Record Hill turbines and, including the visible Spruce Mountain turbines, would affect approximately 120 degrees of the vista from the summit of Whitecap.
The Scenic Resource Impact Assessment prepared by Landworks to review Roxwind’s Visual Impact Assessment concluded that “there is insufficient analysis of the potential impacts of the project to users of the Whitecap Mountain scenic resource”; and that “there is insufficient analysis of the cumulative impact posed by the addition of this project to the overall panorama of the summit vista on Whitecap Mountain.”
The Landworks report RoxWind’s application and related materials can be seen at www.maine.gov/dep/land/projects/roxwind.

Public Hearing Schedule:

Roxbury Wind Project
Application for Natural Resources Protection Act Permit, Small-scale Wind Certification, Stormwater Management Permit
January 7 – Roxbury Town Hall
1:00-1:15: Opening statement by Presiding Officer, swearing in of witnesses, and incorporation of application file into the hearing record (15 minutes)
RoxWind Witnesses
1:15-1:35: Lindsay Deane-Mayer (20 minutes)
1:35-2:05: Intervenor cross-examination of Lindsay Deane-Mayer (20 minutes); Department staff questions (10 minutes)
2:05-2:15: Break (10 minutes)
2:15-2:45: Terrance Dewan and Amy Segal (30 minutes)
2:45-3:25: Intervenor’s cross-examination of RoxWind scenic experts (30 minutes); Department staff questions (10 minutes)
3:25-3:45: Mark Baldwin (20 minutes)
3:45-4:15: Intervenor’s cross-examination of Mark Baldwin (20 minutes); DEP staff questions (10 minutes)
4:15-4:30: Break (15 minutes)
FMM Witnesses
4:15-4:35: William Downes (20 minutes)
4:35-5:05: RoxWind’s cross-examination of William Downes (20 minutes); Department staff questions (10 minutes)
5:05-5:15: Closing statement by Presiding Officer (10 minutes)
5:15-6:00: Dinner Break (45 minutes)
6:00-8:00: Testimony from the general public.