November 11, 2012

Wind power may benefit Bingham area

First Wind proposes 50 to 60 wind turbines on current timber plots

MOSCOW -- The town is looking at a benefits package from a wind power developer as part of a project involving installation of turbines on hills in Bingham and extending into Mayfield and Blanchard townships and Kingsbury Plantation.

Boston developer First Wind said it is "looking seriously at developing a project in the Bingham area," according to spokesman John LaMontagne. He said it is still "very early in the process" but that if approved, the project would include installing 50 to 60 wind turbines on land currently used for timber harvesting. In addition to millions of dollars of investment in the region, he said, the project would create hundreds of jobs during construction as well as 10 to 12 full-time positions after construction.

Getting licensed by the state requires the company to offer benefits packages to surrounding communities, First Selectman Donald Beane said. On Thursday the town plans to hold a special town meeting to vote on whether to accept a package of $20,000 a year for 20 years.

Beane said the town probably would put the money toward reducing property taxes.

"One of our goals is to be a good neighbor to the community, and one of the first steps in this process is coming up with a tax plan and benefits agreements for the surrounding communities," LaMontagne said.

"There might be some people opposed to it, but I really don't anticipate the town not accepting this," Beane said.

Last summer First Wind joined with a Nova Scotia-based energy company, Emera Inc., to develop a project bringing wind power along a 227-mile stretch of land from northern and eastern Maine through the Canadian Maritimes and Massachusetts. The company already has four major wind farms in Maine and last month won approval from state regulators for a 50-turbine, 150-megawatt project in the Aroostook County town of Oakfield.

"So far we have had very strong support from community residents," LaMontagne said of the Bingham-area project.

Rachel Ohm -- 612-2368
rohm@mainetoday.com

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at OnlineSentinel.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)