Commercial operations start at Stetson Wind

North American wind power company First Wind has shared that commercial operations at its Stetson Wind project have commenced.

Stetson Wind, a 57 megawatt (MW) wind project, will surpass First Wind's Mars Hill facility as the largest wind energy project in operation in the State of Maine and in New England. It will have the capacity to generate clean, wind energy to power about 23,500 New England homes per year.

The project consists of 38 General Electric 1.5 MW wind turbines, and will have the capacity to generate approximately 167 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean electricity every year.

Construction on the project began in January this year. First Wind spent about $50 million with Maine-based businesses developing and building the project.

Paul Gaynor, president and CEO of First Wind, said, "With nearly 100 MW of clean, wind energy being generated between Stetson Wind and our Mars Hill project, we're making renewable wind power in Maine a reality."

Combined with the company's 28-megawatt Mars Hill farm, the Stetson operation makes Maine New England's leading wind farm state, Gov. John Baldacci said according to

First Wind plans to build additional projects in Maine, including a proposed 25.5 MW expansion at Stetson Wind, as well as the 60 MW Rollins Wind project near the town of Lincoln. First Wind has submitted permit applications with state agencies for both projects. The company indicated that if all goes well, construction of those projects will finish by January 2010.