Residents in the northern Maine town of Oakfield have approved a tax increment financing agreement with First Wind for its $300 million wind farm.
The TIF is expected to provide the town with $16.5 million in benefits over 20 years, and result in $200 million in new taxable developments, the Bangor Daily News reported. As part of the agreement, Evergreen Wind, a First Wind subsidiary, will establish a community benefits fund with the town, which Oakfield can use at its discretion to fund new or existing community and economic development programs. Residents voted 81-22 in favor of the TIF.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection in January 2010 approved the 34-turbine wind farm, though the company later amended the project to include 50 turbines. The DEP is still reviewing the amended project. First Wind hopes to secure additional permits over the winter and begin building the project next year.