Maine's Bingham Wind Farm Project

Published Feb 21, 2014

Maine Appalachian Trail Club

Maine Appalachian Trail Club

Our friends at the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) released background material and an update on what is known as the "Bingham Wind Farm Project."

We deeply appreciate their advocacy and commitment to the preservation of the Appalachian Trail.

From the MATC News Release of 2-19-14:

Last year, Blue Sky West (BSW), a subsidiary of First Wind applied for a permit to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a 62-turbine wind power generation facility in Bingham, Mayfield Township and Kingsbury Plantation.

Due to its proximity to the Appalachian Trail, MATC reviewed the initial project proposal and objected to its visual impact, particularly as viewed from the Pleasant Pond Mountain and Moxie Bald Mountain viewpoints, two high-value vista points on the A.T. in this region.

We also recognized that under existing Maine law, DEP is limited to only considering visual impacts of a wind facility to the Appalachian National Scenic Trail up to an eight mile distance; the BSW project is not located within eight miles from any major A.T. viewpoint.

As the application process unfolded throughout 2013, MATC joined with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Mountain Club to work with BSW to lessen the impacts of the project on the surrounding view shed.

As a result of these conversations:

  • BSW has agreed to not propose any additional turbines to the Bingham Wind Project that would be any closer to the A.T. as now proposed, regardless of any further regulatory changes by DEP.
  • BSW agrees to install radar-activated lights on its Bingham wind turbines once the Federal Aviation Administration approves this technology.
  • BSW has voluntarily agreed to conserve land to further protect view shed properties along the A.T. corridor in Maine. Upon final regulatory approval of the Bingham Wind Project, BSW will dedicate at least $700,000 - to be held in an escrow account managed by First Wind's law firm - towards conserving lands mutually agreed with the A.T. community.

MATC recognizes First Wind's efforts at further protecting land from development near the A.T. corridor.

With these provisions in place, our focus will shift to mitigate local impacts on the land near Bald Mountain Pond, Moxie Bald Mountain and Pleasant Pond Mountain.

MATC's approach is striking a balance between protections of the A.T. with regard to the objectives of the State of Maine for increased renewable energy.

Contact Information

Lester Kenway: trailser@myfairpoint.net
Tony Barrett: barretttony@comcast.net
Tom Lewis: tlewis4@maine.rr.com

Click Here for the Maine Appalachian Trail Club


Tags: Appalachian Trail, News, Appalachian Trail Clubs, Maine Appalachian Trail Club, and Appalachian Mountain Club

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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