Proposed Wind Turbines Draw Attention to the Downeast Lakes Region
Wind Farms have been popping up all around the pine tree state over the past few years.The Bowers Wind Project, which consists of 16-turbines atop Bowers Mountain in Carroll Plantation and Dill Hill, is awaiting approval.”There are other turbines in the area. The Rollins wind project in Lincoln, the Stetson project which is near are similar, but they are slightly different turbines,” said Mark Bergeron, Director of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The proposed 48-megawatt project is being considering by the DEP. At a public hearing in Lee on Wednesday, a group opposed to Bowers said wind energy is not what the Downeast Lakes Region is about.Gary Campbell, President of the Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed, said, “A lot of birding, lots of wildlife, canoeing, paddling, kayaking, boating, you name it, this region has been devoted to that.”Those against the project said it will turn visitors away, but supporters think that’s not the case.Director for New England Development of First Wind, Neil Kiely, said, “Experience has proven that Mainers do not mind recreating wind turbines. In fact, ATVers and snowmobilers actually want more access to wind turbines.”Kiely thinks the project could bring a huge economic boost to the area, while Campbell believes it’s taking away the core value of what Maine is about. “There’s nothing man-made in sight, even a single turbine sticking up vertically on the horizon is going to ruin that and we can’t afford to take that risk,” said Campbell.The choice could come down to money.”This is a classic decision in Maine. We have a $100 million economic opportunity that we can’t overturn based on fear of change,” said Kiely.If you couldn’t attend the hearings, but what your voice heard, you can email BowersWindProject.DEP@Maine.gov. Comments will be accepted through May 8th. The DEP will make a decision on the turbine project in August.