Largest New England Wind Project Approved by Maine Commission
The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) has approved the largest wind project in New England. UPC Wind, a Newton, Massachusetts-based wind power company, announced January 3 it received approval on the 57-megawatt (MW) Stetson Wind Project.
UPC Wind says it will soon start construction on the facility, located on a ridge line about 90 miles northeast of Bangor, near the Canadian border. The project will consist of 38 GE 1.5-MW wind turbines, which will produce approximately 150 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually — enough to power about 27,500 homes per year. The company says the project will avoid 107,500 metric tons of pollutants that would be emitted into the air if the same amount of electricity were generated by oil- or gas-fired plants.
The project is expected to create hundreds of jobs during design, engineering, and construction, including those for building roads, foundations, and electrical lines.
In November 2007, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development approved tax increment financing for the project, a first for a county in the state. Tax increment financing encourages local economic development activity. It permits a local government to obtain project financing by using new property taxes from a capital investment within a designated geographic district.
During the review process by LURC, UPC Wind noted a number of factors that bode well for Stetson Wind Project including: the ridge has an excellent wind resource; there is no residential property closer than 2,500 feet; environmental impacts will be reduced because existing logging roads can be utilized; and about one-third of the required transmission lines will be built in the same right-of-way as existing electric lines.
To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Maine, see:
- Maine news published on the EERE Web site.
- Brief project descriptions from the Maine Energy Office published in the EERE State Energy Program newsletter, Conservation Update.
- Maine publications listed in the EERE State Publications Database.