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Aroostook County Wind Farm, Maine

STATUS: On Hold

TYPE: Wind

OPPOSITION: Citizens of Aroostook County

PROSPECTS: Indeterminate

BACKGROUND:  The Aroostook County Wind Farm is located near Fort Kent in Aroostook County, Maine.  It is a $1.6 billion project that includes 400 wind turbines.  The developer of the project is Aroostook Wind Energy, which is a subsidiary of Horizon Wind Energy.  The project could generate up to 800 megawatts of energy.

While Horizon Wind Energy has obtained “significant acreage” by speaking with local landowners of Aroostook County, the wind project is still encountering opposition from certain residents.  Residents are worried that the building of the Aroostook County Wind Farm would scar the landscape, hurt tourism, and harm economic development in the area.  One local resident said, "We won’t be able to turn any which way and not see a turbine."

In February 2009,  it was reported that Aroostook Wind Energy put the project on hold after a study found “significant issues” that would result from pumping 800 megawatts of wind energy into the grid, according to documents the company filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The company was vague on the technical details, but the PUC documents highlight impediments that would have threatened the grid’s reliability.  The status of the project on the Department of Energy website is “In development.”

SOURCES: Bangor News: Accessed http://www.nrcm.org/news_detail.asp?news=2317; http://www.valleymorningstar.com/news/wind-23256-farm-county.html;
http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/ne_project_detail.asp?id=32;
Horizon Wind Energy: ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/ME/Programs/SJAWindConf08/EdwardWright/Wrightppt.pdf;
The Portland Phoenix: http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/76606-transmission-troubles/authors/deirdre-fulton/?page=2#TOPCONTENT;
Maine Biz: http://www.mainebiz.biz/news44168.html;
DOE: http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/newengland/project_detail.asp?id=32

Last updated November 15, 2010