AUGUSTA – Prospective developers of a wind farm near the Canadian border in western Maine said Tuesday they hope to begin construction this summer and have all 44 turbines running by 2010.
TransCanada Maine Wind Development needs all permits to be approved in time to start construction in northern Franklin County this summer, Nick Di Domenico, project manager, said Tuesday.
If that happens, TransCanada plans to have some of the windmills running in 2009 and all of them turning a year later, he said.
TransCanada’s project cleared a major regulatory hurdle on Monday when the Land Use Regulation Commission unanimously approved the Canadian company’s application to rezone 2,367 acres for the project.
Before construction begins, TransCanada must also submit a final development plan to LURC, which regulates projects in Maine’s Unorganized Territory.
The final development plan will be a more detailed version of the rezoning application, which covered effects on land and wildlife. .
Before their vote Monday ordering the LURC staff to prepare a report recommending approval, board members commented that the rezoning application was complete and thorough. Di Domenico said Tuesday that TransCanada was gratified by that reaction.
“A lot of effort on the part of a lot of people, and a lot of time and money” went into the application, Di Domenico said.
TransCanada’s project and a separate wind project came before LURC as members of the Governor’s Task Force on Wind Power Development in Maine worked on a report that could recommend changes in the way large-scale projects are reviewed and permitted.