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Wind power firm files with LURC

A group called Friends of the Western Mountains has collected thousands of signatures from citizens concerned about the project.

A Yarmouth company is moving forward with plans to build 30 wind turbines within sight of Sugarloaf Mountain and the Appalachian Trail.

Endless Energy Corp. announced Monday that it had filed an application with the Land Use Regulation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection seeking approval to erect the 410-foot-tall wind towers on Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble mountains near the Carrabassett Valley.

If successful, the $130 million project would be the second wind farm to be approved in the state, with at least two more large-scale wind power projects in the works. The most advanced project, on Mars Hill in Aroostook County, was slated for construction this winter.

Filing under the name Maine Mountain Power LLC, Endless Energy and its partner company in the project, Edison Mission Group, hope the proposed wind farm would generate 265 million kilowatts of energy annually. That would be enough energy to power 44,000 homes, according to the company.

More than a decade in the making, the Redington and Black Nubble proposal is certain to encounter opposition from groups concerned about its impact on wildlife populations - especially birds and bats - as well as the mountain vistas.

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A Yarmouth company is moving forward with plans to build 30 wind turbines within sight of Sugarloaf Mountain and the Appalachian Trail.

Endless Energy Corp. announced Monday that it had filed an application with the Land Use Regulation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection seeking approval to erect the 410-foot-tall wind towers on Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble mountains near the Carrabassett Valley.

If successful, the $130 million project would be the second wind farm to be approved in the state, with at least two more large-scale wind power projects in the works. The most advanced project, on Mars Hill in Aroostook County, was slated for construction this winter.

Filing under the name Maine Mountain Power LLC, Endless Energy and its partner company in the project, Edison Mission Group, hope the proposed wind farm would generate 265 million kilowatts of energy annually. That would be enough energy to power 44,000 homes, according to the company.

More than a decade in the making, the Redington and Black Nubble proposal is certain to encounter opposition from groups concerned about its impact on wildlife populations - especially birds and bats - as well as the mountain vistas.

The site is about four miles from Sugarloaf ski slopes and will be visible to skiers as well as hikers on some stretches of the Appalachian Trail, said Harley Lee, president of Endless Energy.

But Lee said Monday the company has spent years researching ways to reduce the impact on the natural environment and the region's aesthetics. The company has conducted acoustic, radar and nesting studies of bird populations to help avoid bird deaths.

"The bottom line is we don't think there will be any significant impact" on bird populations, Lee said.

Opposition groups want more assurances, however.

A group called Friends of the Western Mountains has collected thousands of signatures from citizens concerned about the project.

Bob Weingarten with Friends of the Boundary Mountains, which has long opposed a TransCanada wind farm proposed for nearby, said his group's members also plan to oppose the Maine Mountain Power project largely out of concern for bird and bat populations.

"It's not that we're against wind power," Weingarten said. "It's a question of where it is sited."

Marie Malin, a spokeswoman with Maine Audubon, said the group is withholding judgment on the project until staff can review potential effects on wildlife and wildlife habitat. Malin said, however, that Maine Audubon "supports wind power development that's sited and designed correctly."

LURC will hold public hearings on Maine Mountain Power's proposal.

Source: http://www.bangornews.com/n...

DEC 20 2005
http://www.windaction.org/posts/767-wind-power-firm-files-with-lurc
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