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    Large wind turbine parts will soon be trucked through Hancock County

    By Bill Trotter,


    Pieces of large wind turbines that will be erected in the Washington County town of Columbia are expected to start moving soon across Hancock County.

    The oversized deliveries will start shipping in the coming days, according to the Hancock County Emergency Management Agency. Trucks will haul them east on Route 1 from Searsport, coming through Bucksport, downtown Ellsworth and then onto Washington Junction Road in Hancock, before continuing to Washington County on Route 1.

    The turbine sections are starting their road journey at the Mack Point cargo terminal in Searsport, according to Jim Therriault, an official with the shipping facility’s owner, Sprague Energy.

    “These transports, escorted by Maine State Police, will be occurring five-days a week into October,” Hancock County EMA posted on Facebook . “While planned to occur during the early, pre-dawn hours, some inconveniences to commuters are inevitable. Please plan accordingly.”

    The turbine traffic is not the only inconvenience commuters in eastern Maine may encounter this summer. The state has resumed work on a two-mile Route 1 construction project in Searsport, while other road projects have created detours in Brewer and Holden , and in downtown Bar Harbor .

    The turbine sections are headed toward the Downeast Wind project site north of Harrington. The wind power developer, Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy, plans to erect 30 turbines spread out among various locations in the town of Columbia and in townships 18 and 24 in the state’s Unorganized Territory.

    When assembled, each of the turbines will have a maximum height of 656 feet, more than double the height of the Statue of Liberty and almost 200 feet taller than many wind turbines in the U.S. The entire project is projected to have a production capacity of 126 megawatts.

    Twenty of the turbines will be north of the state’s 5,600-acre Great Heath ecological reserve in Township 18. Six turbines of the same height will be erected west of the heath, between the Pleasant River and the Deblois town line, and four more will be erected along blueberry barrens south of the heath in Columbia.

    Woolwich-based Reed & Reed is serving as the general contractor for the project. Other Maine companies contracted to help develop the wind farm include Sargent Corp. in Orono, Comprehensive Land Tech in China, and Owen J. Folsom Inc. of Old Town., according to Apex Clean Energy.

    When completed, the $188 million wind project is expected to generate enough to power 37,000 typical houses for a year. The company hopes to connect the turbines to the grid in early 2025.

    The Downeast Wind project was first publicly proposed in 2014 and, after the company formally submitted its permit application to Maine Department of Environmental Protection in May 2021, the state approved the project in December 2022.

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