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September 18, 2015

$369 million wind farm completed

Photo / Lori Valigra Just a few of the 48 wind turbines in the Oakfield wind project.

SunEdison Inc.’s $369 million wind farm in Oakfield is expected to be online by the end of the month, according to the Houlton Pioneer Times.

All 48 3-megawatt Vestas turbines are up and will be capable of generating almost 150 megawatts of power, which has been contracted to companies in Massachusetts.

The turbines, which stand 456 feet tall from base to blade tip at the highest point, are situated about 2.5 miles from the center of Oakfield in southern Aroostook. A total of 500 acres were cleared for the wind farm, making it the largest such project in the state to date. Electricity generated from the turbines will be transmitted along a 59-mile line to a substation in Chester, near Lincoln.

“This project has gone very well and we are slightly ahead of schedule,” Peter Garrett, superintendent of the Oakfield wind project for SunEdison, told the newspaper. “At our peak, we had about 200 employees a day, totaling 390,000 man hours on this project.”

Construction began in December 2013. The project began with First Wind, which originally was granted permission for 34 turbines along Sam Drew Mountain in September 2009. Construction was pushed off when the Martha A. Powers Land Trust challenged the project in court on a number of issues, including what it considered inadequate sound level restrictions. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court rejected the trust’s last appeal in March 2011.

After construction was well underway, SunEdison bought First Wind for $2.4 billion in January 2015.

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