Published Date Written by John SuttonEditor,
As a resident of Roxbury I read Crash Barry's recent opinion concerning the Record Hill Wind Project located in Roxbury with some interest. While wind generated electricity and the aesthetics of wind farms can be controversial, I feel that Mr. Barry's comments need some clarification. Each organized town in the State of Maine has the option to allow or not to allow a wind project within the town. The Town of Byron, obviously, opted not to allow the construction of a wind project. The Town of Roxbury, by a ballot measure, approved creating a zone where a wind project could be constructed.
Mr. Barry is correct in that the PUC approved raising Central Maine Power's transmission rates by 20 percent, however, it is my understanding that this pricing is controlled by the federal government. The PUC did not raise the Standard Offer for residential and small customers, for the power generation section of their electric bill.
Mr. Barry, while standing 100 feet from an operating turbine, was concerned about the noise level. It is my understanding that the Record Hill Wind Project meets or exceeds the current Maine DEP standards for daytime and nighttime noise levels.
There are direct benefits for the residents of Roxbury as the result of the construction of Record Hill Wind's project. The first 500 kwh of the generating cost of each monthly electric bill, for every residence in Roxbury, is being paid for by Record Hill Wind. The amount paid is calculated using the current Standard Rate. These payments are made quarterly. Seasonal residents will receive two payments per year. The payments, calculated annually, will continue for 20 years. Record Hill Wind did not request nor were they granted Tax Incremental Financing status by the Town of Roxbury. As a of result adding Record Hill Wind to the town's tax base, property taxes in 2012 will be 59% lower than 2011, with a projected 2012 mil rate of 7.07. The town is now able to afford major improvements to the Town's infrastructure, including a major improvement of town roads.