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Abstract or Description

Wind energy has become a rapidly growing source of renewable electricity; world generating capacity is growing at 20-30% per year (IEA, 2008). Wind offers a fantastic opportunity for clean energy generation in Maine, and will support local community economies. However, the turbines that produce this clean energy typically stand over 250 feet tall and can be seen on their mountaintop perches for miles. Many consider them to be visually intrusive and fight to stop wind farm projects in their planning stages (Curtis, 2011). Maine has numerous wind farms already in operation, with many more in the planning and proposal stages (NRCM, 2012b). Private wind energy company Iberdrola Renewables, LLC has proposed to construct a 60-80MW wind farm on Fletcher Mountain in the Lexington Township and Somerset County area (NRCM, 2012a). Another company, Eolian Renewable Energy, LLC, has proposed a 10-18MW wind farm on Mt. Waldo in Frankfort, Maine (Waldo Community Wind, 2012). We set out to answer, how much land would be visually impacted by the construction of these two proposed wind farms?

About the Author

Michael Stephens is a Biology and Environmental Science double major with a concentration in Marine Biology. At Colby he is President of the Sportsmen’s Club and is a COOT leader. Michael is from Atlanta, Georgia.

Colin Cummings (’14) is an Environmental Policy major from Ashburn, Virginia. Colin is also a member of the Colby College Baseball team.

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