Sunday, 17 June 2012

Turbines arrive for Bull Hill wind site; advocates say wind farms great for state’s economy
12 Jun 2012

SEARSPORT, Maine--Workers unloading wind turbine components Tuesday morning at the Mack Point industrial port looked like busy ants as they toiled near the giant cylinders that will become the towers for the Bull Hill Wind Project in Hancock County. The $76 million project, developed by First Wind and expected to be completed in November, will include 19 turbines built on about 100 acres in Township 16 MD near Eastbrook. It should generate 34 MWs of power, or enough electricity for 18,000 homes.

And it's a good example of the way that wind projects add to the local and statewide economies, according to proud officials from First Wind, general contractor Reed & Reed and Sprague Energy, which runs the terminal. "We can't stress enough the economic benefits of these projects", Pat DeFilipp of Reed & Reed said at a wind-buffeted press conference on the bulk dock. "We'll spend 150,000 work hours on this project. That's several million dollars worth of payroll".

Behind him, the tower components that came from Denmark were gently raised off the cargo ship and then lowered onto flathed trucks. They'll be stored at Mack Point until the 165 foot-long turbine blades from Colorado are shipped to Maine by rail. Then, when the parts are all together, they will make the trek across Waldo and Hancock counties to the Bull Hill site for assembly. Members of the Land Use Regulation Commission unanimously voted in October--with one abstention--to give the green light for Maine's largest wind power company to build the rural Hancock County wind farm. It will be First Wind's fifth project in Maine.

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