Downeast Wind Project Profile

Downeast Wind

Apex Clean Energy is actively meeting with landowners, community leaders, and the public to share information about Downeast Wind, an exciting renewable energy project that will bring millions of dollars of investment and tax revenue to the Town of Columbia and Washington County, Maine.

Project Summary

  • Located in Columbia and unorganized portions of Washington County, Maine
  • Enough power for over 37,000 U.S. homes
  • Nearly $20 million in community and county tax and tangible benefits
  • Will create hundreds of jobs and significant local spending during construction
  • Will create approximately 10 full-time local jobs for operations and maintenance
  • Taxpayers will be protected against decommissioning costs
  • 30 years of annual revenue for county and local landowners
  • Each wind turbine typically requires less than half an acre of land
  • Existing high-voltage power lines and highways would limit the need for new infrastructure
  • Will represent a significant investment in local economy with revenues for farmers, local government, and schools

Why Washington County?

If built, Downeast will have a capacity of 126 MW, producing enough energy to power more than 37,000 homes every year.  Representing a private investment well in excess of $270 million, Downeast will benefit the economy of Washington County in the near term with construction jobs and local purchasing of materials and services. In the long term, the project promises to bring sustained municipal revenues to communities, local government, and the Downeast region, as well as decades of local purchasing, employment, and investment.

Washington County was selected after a thorough examination of many candidate sites for the following reasons:

  • Verified wind resource
  • Existing high-voltage power lines
  • Expansive tracts of land
  • Maine residents support of wind energy

Landowners who host turbines on their property and other participating landowners will also receive annual lease payments. These payments will continue over the projected 25-year lifespan of the wind farm, injecting millions of dollars into Washington County’s economy to support local merchants, contractors, and equipment suppliers.

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Wind Energy for Rural America

The cost of wind energy has dropped more than 50% over the past five years, providing a cost-competitive source for clean electricity across the nation. Wind powers the equivalent of 18 million American homes each year.* Wind energy comes with many benefits, including reduced pollution, increased domestic employment, consumer cost savings, water conservation, nationwide availability, and increased community revenues.** Wind turbines compliment working farms, because they allow for existing agricultural operations to continue around them. They also help farmers by diversifying the rural economy and providing a consistent, drought-resistant new harvest.

Potential Timeline

There are many steps in the process to completion of Downeast Wind. For the past several years our team has been engaged in gathering community input, extensive studies, engineering, permitting, and other work that must be complete before construction can begin. Apex will be working closely with Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the local communities on the project planning and permitting and continues to seek input from area residents regarding the development process. Anticipated start date of commercial operation is expected in 2022.

 

*AWEA, Wind Energy Facts at a Glance, March 2015

**Department of Energy, Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States, 2015