Throughout the development and planning phases, First Wind has worked very closely with the town and its Windpower Review Committee to solicit significant community input in designing the project and establishing a community benefit partnership. As part of the local review process, First Wind made a number of commitments to the town and incorporated those commitments into its original Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) application. Ninety percent of the funds from this first payment from First Wind to the town will be used for tax relief for town residents. The town has other plans for future uses of funds.
Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind, said the funding is going to make a real difference for the residents in the town of Oakfield. "First Wind is committed to building partnerships in our project communities, and we’ve had a great experience working with the town of Oakfield," he said. "It is exciting to see the early construction progress at Oakfield and we are looking forward to seeing the activity increase in the coming months.”
The power that will be generated by the Oakfield Wind project is contracted to be sold to Massachusetts customers of four utilities as part of a 15-year contract, and will generate enough clean energy at cost-competitive rates to power about 50,000 homes. Major construction of the project is expected to start later this year, with a completion and generation date predicted for 2015. Vestas will supply the 48 V112 turbines with a capacity of 3.075 MW each to the Maine project.