CLIFTON – More than 50 people attended an informational meeting Monday about the possibility of new wind turbines in town.
This meeting was part of the Department of Environmental Protection’s permitting process.
Five wind turbines can be seen on the horizon by those traveling on Route 9.
Now SWEB Development is hoping to add five more on the adjacent property.
“I’ve been at camp for nearly 45 years and I just hate to see something like this happen,” said one person at the meeting.
“Permitting five additional wind turbines, nearly twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty, will dominate nearly everyone’s views from their camps on Hopkins Pond,” said another.
The Silver Maple Wind Project is in the early stages of the permitting process.
“Typically with wind power projects, they’re a little more controversial. They’re very easy to see,” said Jessica Damon, project manager for the Maine DEP. “That’s why we like to come to Clifton, to make it easier for people to comment on the project.”
Much of the feedback given at the meeting was against new turbines on Pisgah Mountain.
“The experts say wind will never produce more than 5 percent of energy needs,” stated someone at the meeting. “The experts say, including our own late great Professor Dick Hill, despite popular opinion, wind energy is low benefit for rate payers and high impact on the environment. Why don’t we listen to our experts?”
SWEB plans to invest close to $40 million into the 20-megawatt project.
“There’s always going to be people who don’t like it for one reason or anothe, but education is very valuable in dealing with this,” said Paul Fuller, a consultant for the Silver Maple Wind Project.
Those working with the company said they hope to have the five new wind turbines up and running by the end of 2021.