A View from Brittany Sauser

Green Light for Wind-Energy Project

A plan to build the largest wind farm in New England has received final approval.

  • January 7, 2008

On January 3, Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission approved the final design of the Stetson Wind Project–a 38-turbine wind farm to be built on Stetson Mountain, in Maine’s Washington County. The $100 million project is headed by UPC Wind of Newton, MA, and will be the biggest source of wind energy for New England.

An illustration of the Stetson Ridge with wind turbines. Credit: Natural Resources Council of Maine.

The wind farm is expected to generate 57 megawatts of electricity annually, a number comparable to the yearly electricity use of roughly 27,000 Maine households. Each turbine tower will stand 262 feet tall with a blade diameter of 253 feet. Power from the wind farm will flow into the New England Power grid.

A 42-megawatt, 28-turbine wind farm already exists in Mars Hill, ME, but with rising oil prices and the push toward renewable energy sources, the Stetson project proposal received little resistance from residents and lawmakers. Additionally, the largest wind farms in the United States can be found in Texas, California, and the Midwest. According to the American Wind Energy Association’s annual U.S. wind-power rankings (as of December 31, 2006), Texas has installed 2,763 megawatts of wind energy, California follows with 2,361, and Iowa with 936.

Overall, the United States ranks third in the world, behind Germany and Spain, with a total installed wind-power capacity of more than 11,600 megawatts.

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