Maine DEP OKs First Wind's Oakfield Project
Evergreen Wind Power II, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of First Wind, has received approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for its proposed 51 MW Oakfield Wind project in Aroostook County, Maine.
Situated in the town of Oakfield, Maine, the Oakfield Wind project will consist of 34 GE 1.5 MW turbines that have the capacity to produce enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes. Start of construction on the project has yet to be determined.
“We appreciate the review of this application by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection,” said Matt Kearns, First Wind’s vice president of Development for New England. “We are grateful for the support we received from Oakfield and the surrounding communities during the process. We’ve worked very closely with the town of Oakfield to create a process so residents can ask questions about wind power and our projects. We look forward to this continued partnership as we work to make this project a reality.”
First Wind worked with the town to create the Oakfield Wind Energy Review Committee last year. Following public input, that committee drafted a 45-page report that was reviewed and approved by the town’s Board of Selectmen. Project Developer Alec Jarvis added, “It’s a better project because of input from the town.”
The Oakfield Wind project is expected to create numerous construction jobs and provide significant revenue to the surrounding communities. For example, First Wind spent $50 million with Maine-based businesses and employed over 350 workers during the construction of Stetson Wind, a 57 MW project in Washington County that has been in operation since January 2009. The Oakfield Wind project is expected to provide similar types of benefits to the region.
First Wind owns and operates the 42 MW Mars Hill Wind project in Aroostook County along with Stetson Wind. In addition, First Wind started construction on a 25.5 MW expansion to the Stetson Wind project in November 2009.