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Wind-Power Sites Gaining In Northeast - New England's High Speeds Attract Wind Farms: 10 Online, A Dozen Proposed

More than 10 large and small wind-power facilities are on line in the region. More could be on their way. A proposed 24-megawatt project in Lempster, N.H., is under regulatory review. A 13.5-megawatt project in western Massachusetts' Berkshires is moving through the regulatory process.

MARS HILL, Maine -- At the crest of a mountain ridge that hugs northern Maine's border with Canada, what will become New England's biggest wind-power development so far is quietly taking shape.

A road following the spine of Mars Hill Mountain has been blazed through the thick woods and now connects in dot-to-dot fashion 28 flattened sites where 262-foot high turbines will rise.

Once the turbines go up, immense windmill blades - each 115 feet long - will be fixed to the towers spaced at six or seven per mile. Evergreen Wind Power, developers of the $55 million Mars Hill Wind Farm, hopes to begin cranking out power this year.

"The project is large by New England standards," said Peter Gish, managing director of UPC Wind Management LLC of Newton, Mass., Evergreen's parent company.

Overlooking breathtaking vistas of green, checkerboard fields spreading out from the mountain's base and forests and mountains farther in the distance, the 42-megawatt Mars Hill project will provide enough power to supply about 45,000 average Maine homes at full capacity, in effect all of northern Maine's Aroostook County.

Wind turbines usually operate below capacity, but even at... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

MARS HILL, Maine -- At the crest of a mountain ridge that hugs northern Maine's border with Canada, what will become New England's biggest wind-power development so far is quietly taking shape.

A road following the spine of Mars Hill Mountain has been blazed through the thick woods and now connects in dot-to-dot fashion 28 flattened sites where 262-foot high turbines will rise.

Once the turbines go up, immense windmill blades - each 115 feet long - will be fixed to the towers spaced at six or seven per mile. Evergreen Wind Power, developers of the $55 million Mars Hill Wind Farm, hopes to begin cranking out power this year.

"The project is large by New England standards," said Peter Gish, managing director of UPC Wind Management LLC of Newton, Mass., Evergreen's parent company.

Overlooking breathtaking vistas of green, checkerboard fields spreading out from the mountain's base and forests and mountains farther in the distance, the 42-megawatt Mars Hill project will provide enough power to supply about 45,000 average Maine homes at full capacity, in effect all of northern Maine's Aroostook County.

Wind turbines usually operate below capacity, but even at 35 percent, Mars Hill will crank out enough power for at least 22,000 homes, the developers say. Talks to determine a buyer for the wind farm's power are continuing.

The project will stand out in New England, home to the highest recorded wind speeds in the mainland U.S., and, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the birthplace of wind power in America.

What was once the world's largest electricity-producing windmill was installed in 1941 at Grandpa's Knob, Vt., and razed in 1946. The DOE says the world's first wind farm was built in 1980 at Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire, but it failed.

Today, the only other New England wind power sites capable of producing enough power for commercial distribution are an 11-turbine, 6 megawatt wind farm that has operated in Searsburg, Vt., for nearly a decade, and sites in Princeton, Hull and Buzzards Bay, Mass., says the American Wind Energy Association, a trade group based in Washington.

More than 10 large and small wind-power facilities are on line in the region. More could be on their way. A proposed 24-megawatt project in Lempster, N.H., is under regulatory review. A 13.5-megawatt project in western Massachusetts' Berkshires is moving through the regulatory process.

Two of New England's most ambitious proposals call for a 120-turbine, 468-megawatt wind farm in Buzzards Bay and the 130-turbine, 420-megawatt Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound off the Massachusetts coast. The AWEA counts more than a dozen proposed sites in the six-state region.


Source: http://www.courant.com/busi...

AUG 7 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/3907-wind-power-sites-gaining-in-northeast-new-england-s-high-speeds-attract-wind-farms-10-online-a-dozen-proposed
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