Buoyed by the success of its first wind project in Maine, UPC Wind has filed a proposal with Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) for a second wind plant, this time a $100 million, 67 MW project on Stetson Mountain in Washington County in the northeast of the state. The project would top UPC Wind's 42 MW Mars Hill wind plant, which went online in the winter in Aroostook County. UPC Wind is not the only developer pushing new projects. TransCanada, based in the Canadian province of Alberta, also filed with Maine's LURC for an even larger proposal, a 132 MW plant on Kibby Mountain in northwest Franklin County. Although not without its challenges, Maine is proving more fertile ground for wind than other New England states, where developments are hampered by local opposition. With vocal support from Governor John Baldacci, two of Maine's major utilities are exploring a variety of options for increasing the transmission network in Maine. This will have significant implications for a third project in earlier stages of development that could greatly eclipse all existing proposals. Aroostook Wind Energy, a local concern of Horizon Wind Energy, has filed interconnection requests for a multi-stage project on the vast potato fields of Aroostook County that could reach 500 MW, the first wind project on land anywhere near its size in the Northeast (page 44).
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol