Maine Town Says Ayuh To Wind Turbines


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A Maine town has voted to allow the siting of three ginormous wind turbines on private lands on a mountain within the town limits. It’s the second time in the past year in New England that we’ve seen a wind-power vote break in favor of big turbines that had raised concerns among some community members.

Back in May, Falmouth, Mass., residents by an overwhelming margin rejected a proposal to decommission, dismantle and remove two Vestas 1.65-megawatt turbines at the local wastewater treatment plant.

Dodge Hill and Whites Mountain from Bald Mountain (image via Eolian Renewable Energy)

Dodge Hill and Whites Mountain from Bald Mountain (image via Eolian Renewable Energy)

This prospective layout, pending further study, for the three-turbine wind array in Orland, Maine. (image via Eolian Rnewable Energy)

This prospective layout for the three-turbine array (image via Eolian Rnewable Energy)

In Maine, the project, called Peaked Wind Power, is still on the drawing board, but developer Eolian Renewable Energy says it’s figuring on three turbines that can generate about 9 MW total. The company lists these benefits from the wind project, beyond its clean-energy-generating potential:

  • Local, domestic, renewable energy is a beneficial form of economic development creating jobs and keeping energy dollars in Maine.
  • A 9-megawatt wind facility would make a minimum annual tax payment of $150,000 that would be paid to the town every year for the life of the project.
  • Peaked Wind Power, LLC will require virtually no town services so this new project would represent a new source of tax revenue for Orland that will total over $3,000,000 over the life of the project.

According to the Bangor Daily News, Orland residents backed the Peaked Wind project by a vote of 439-258, a 63-37 percent margin.

In addition to the votes of the people in Falmouth and Orland on wind power, there was also a recent election in Fairhaven, Mass., where wind power has been a big issue. There, in September, “Wind turbine supporter Peter DeTerra won in a landslide over wind opponent John Wethington in the Fairhaven board of health election,” according to The Green Miles blog.

The Green Miles, BTW, captured an epic view of the Fairhaven turbines that we coudn’t resist sharing:

Fairhaven, Mass., wind turbines (image via The Green Miles)

Fairhaven, Mass., wind turbines (image via The Green Miles)

 

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.