TransCanada’s Proposed Expansion in Franklin County 

A proposal by the company TransCanada to build 15 more wind turbines in Franklin County was up for discussion Wednesday.The Land Use Regulation Commission hosted a public hearing in Bangor.Meghan Hayward was there.TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. wants to expand its 320-million dollar, 44-turbine operation on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Kibby and Skinner Townships.”This project will represent a substantial and meaningful progress toward the state’s wind energy goals. It will result in critically needed benefits to people that live and work in the state of Maine, and will result in environmental and energy benefits that have been defined and set forth in the statue.”The expansion would include 15 more turbines on nearby Sisk Mountain.”And it’s not just landscape levels that make this site appropriate for wind power. There are site specific considerations that make it particularly well suited. First and foremost, it’s a premier wind resource and the wind resource matters because it allows the applicant to maximize power generation throughout while minimizing a project footprint.”Opponents have several concerns.”This project would have an adverse impact on this community. Alpine forest provides critical habitat for Bicknell’s Thrush, the Northeast’s rarest migratory songbird and an extreme habitat specialist.”Those opposed also say the expansion is a stark contrast to the original.”Despite being nearly three times the size of the imposed project. The original project consciously and purposely avoided impact to the sub Alpine forest and Bicknell’s Thrush and was located in an area without significant impact on high value scenic resources.”TransCanada says their research shows that isn’t the case.”The people with the most expertise and experience with this species unanimously agree that there is substantial and overall well protected at Bicknell’s habitat in the state of Maine and in the Northeast and that the greatest threat to this species is loss of over-wintering habitat.”