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February 23, 2015

With PUC reshuffle, 2 wind projects up in the air

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is planning to reconsider two proposed wind projects shortly after a few changes in the commission’s members and leadership.

The Associated Press reported that the commission plans on Wednesday to vote on whether it should reassess projects in Hancock and Somerset counties that had already received initial approval. The commission’s membership has changed since the initial vote was made in December, with former Chairman Tom Welch being replaced by Carlie McLean, Gov. Paul LePage’s former chief legal counsel, and Mark Vannoy becoming the new chairman.

The move, which has created new concerns for Maine’s wind industry, is considered unusual, according to a PUC spokesman. While the commission said it wants to reexamine the projects because of energy market changes, Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, said it’s unfair and that it looks like “political interference.”

Source: The Associated Press

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