in News Departments > New & Noteworthy
print the content item

First Wind has worked with a coalition of non-profit organizations representing the Appalachian Trail to help alleviate their concerns about one of its proposed wind farms in Maine.

The nationally recognized 2,180-plus-mile Appalachian Trail footpath stretches from Maine to Georgia. First Wind has five operating wind farms in Maine and has proposed the Bingham Wind project, a 62-turbine facility located in the state.

However, the Appalachian Trail Coalition groups have expressed concerns about the potential impact that Bingham and other energy projects may have on Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST) viewshed lands. Therefore, First Wind says it has entered an agreement to protect such lands in Maine through the creation of a dedicated $700,000 conservation fund.

The groups have identified the Orbeton Stream Conservation Easement Project, which is meant to protect 5,800 acres along the ANST in the western Maine high peaks area, as the intended recipient of the first $150,000 from the land conservation fund. First Wind says this would help complete the funding necessary to close on that project.

In addition to the fund, First Wind says it has agreed not to propose any additional turbines to the Bingham Wind project that would be any closer to the ANST and to install radar-activated lights on its Bingham wind turbines once the Federal Aviation Administration approves this technology. The lighting would remain off except when aircraft are in the area of the project, thereby significantly reducing potential impacts of nighttime lighting, the developer adds.

Based on the measures reflected in the agreement, the coalition groups say they do not oppose the Bingham project.

“Our organizations recognize that all energy generation sources have environmental impacts. The Bingham Wind project is no exception, and it will have an expected visual presence on the A.T.,” comments Ken Kimball, AMC’s director of research. “The A.T. coalition organizations appreciate First Wind’s willingness to voluntarily work with us to mitigate this project’s impacts and to protect lands with a connection to the ANST viewshed.”

Matt Kearns, vice president of business development for First Wind, adds, “We’re proud to work with the Appalachian Trail Coalition Groups to proactively protect important, high-priority environmental resources and areas in Maine and along the A.T.  This agreement reflects the importance that there be clean sources of renewable energy in Maine balanced with protecting important viewsheds.”


IowaDeptEconDevel_id1863

Helukabel_id1908
Latest Top Stories

Report Disputes U.S. Agency's Renewable Energy Projections

A new analysis from the Sun Day Campaign says renewables are slated to provide 16% of U.S. generating capacity by 2018 - over 20 years earlier than forecast by the Energy Information Administration.


Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.


Senate Committee Passes Bill With Two-Year PTC Extension

The Senate Finance Committee has voted on a tax extenders package, which includes both the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit, and sent it to the floor.

Acciona_id1907
JLG_id1900
WomenofWind_id
UEA_id1896
bonfiglioli_id1913
AWEA_id1886