Proposed Wind Turbine Placement Near Molunkus Lake

Charlie Baldwin from First Wind called today with an update on the initial proposed layout for turbine placement. He emphasized that this is just a first draft and there could be significant changes when the MET data comes in and that the layout could change over time. Following are the conclusions.

  • The closest proposed turbine location from the Molunkus Lake boat landing is 2 miles.
  • The closest proposed turbine location from Little Molunkus Stream is 2.5 miles.
  • There are no proposed turbines south of Three Mile Brook.
  • The sound assessment will take into consideration the effect of a body of water, frozen ground, and ice storm conditions.
  • First Wind has no list yet for the notification of residents and land owners. First Wind does public outreach once the towers are approved and the results are promising.

Now is the time to bring up our concerns. Please contact me at


MET Towers To Be Erected

The Molunkus Wind project is back on.  Charlie Baldwin from First Wind called to inform us that 5 MET towers will be constructed to determine feasibility.  These towers are used at a potential project site to assess wind resources.  Know that if they have gotten this far, they will proceed with the project.  Be alert to any sightings, rumors, etc. concerning this. We will post pictures and locations when the towers are erected.

Molunkus Wind Project on Hold

Email from First Wind, 12/18/2013:

Hi Molly,

I’ve done a bit of digging and would like to pass on the information I found.

The Mulunkus proposal was submitted in response to a Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by the state of Connecticut.

CT did not accept our proposal so the Molunkus proposal was shelved at that stage.

Since your last communication with Dave Fowler there has been no further movement on the project, it is not in any stage of active development.

We have not run any new meteorological assessments of the site and have no site plans for locating temporary or permanent meteorological towers or turbines.

I understand your concern about potential development in your community and I understand that you may not take the word of a developer at face value. However I want to assure you that First Wind has a demonstrable history of including stakeholders in our development process and going above and beyond legal requirements to insure that impacted communities have input and benefit from our projects.

I f the project is ever taken up again you can be assured that we will reach out to community stakeholders at the beginning of the process, seek input and keep the you informed through every stage.

I hope this answers your questions.

Please feel free to follow up at any time.


Charles Baldwin
First Wind
Development Project Coordinator


Because First Wind will continue to look for funding for this project, we must remain vigilant.  I intend to check with First Wind periodically to get updates as this is only a postponement.  The community needs to provide input when the Molunkus Wind Project is resurrected.

December 2013 Updates

In September, Al and I spoke with Dave Fowler from First Wind.  Dave attempted to calm us by saying that MET (meteorological test) towers had not yet been erected and that planning of the Molunkus Wind Project had barely begun.  His summation was, “It’s too early.” We agreed to meet and discuss this further.

It’s been three months since our phone call with Dave Fowler.  We heard rumors that Connecticut did not agree to purchase power produced from the Molunkus Wind Project, and that if the project went forward, it would be 5-6 years before First Wind erected turbines.  On December 9, Al and I sent email to Dave Fowler requesting a meeting and status.

Here is the reply from First Wind:

My name is Charlie Baldwin,

I am a new hire at First Wind and will be working with Dave Fowler in the Development Department.

Dave forwarded me your email concerning the status of a potential wind project near Molunkus Lake.

I looked into the status and can tell you that the project is on hold indefinitely. MET towers have not been erected and no new assessments have been made concerning the location of towers.

I can tell you that if the project moves forward in the future the first step would be for First Wind to submit a DEP Permit application. We would be happy to notify you at the time such a permit were submitted.

I’m also happy to field any further questions you have regarding the potential project.

Thanks and have a great holiday!


Charles Baldwin
First Wind
Development Project Coordinator

This is our response to Charles Baldwin, First Wind, sent December 17, 2013:


Thank you for your response to our inquiry concerning the Molunkus Wind Project.  We would like further information on the following:

  • Why is the Molunkus Wind Project currently on hold?
  • What happened to the sale of wind power from this project to Connecticut?
  • I understand that there have been no new assessments concerning the location of towers.  Please let us know where First Wind has mapped tower placement currently.  We would like to work with you on that right now, before this project gets resurrected.
  • Please keep us in the loop as far as notification.  A DEP Permit application is not the first step.  It may be the first step with the state of Maine, but not in your planning process.

We represent much of the community on Aroostook Road and Molunkus Lake – all of whom want to be notified and involved, providing community input on this project.

Thank you.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Al and Mollie Straub


Charlie Baldwin replied that since he is a new-hire, he needs time to get up to speed and give us answers. “Please bear with me as I acquire and relay the information to your community.”

I’ll keep you posted on our communication with First Wind.  As always, keep up to date on current wind power issues at

Community outreach is an integral element of First Wind’s strategy…

In my first blog post, I have a link to First Wind’s response to a Connecticut state request for proposal of wind energy. I have the main points below, but if you want the link, here it is again.*iqWQFRuAA5k79ngD15bfia6KAR3k3qgWw-1GvGfDgV1uSXeDd0oI2sxeCRvIa0*fAJFK7x4tX3kDSQvNwOi/MolunkusWindJuly312013.pdf

Note that all the bold formatting below is mine.

John Gates, a blogger at, refers to this request for proposal and says:

A bunch of this is blacked out as it’s “confidential”. That would include the location. I saw reference to two systems, one six miles long. They claim “community support” in the document, much of which seems intentionally blurred. How can they claim community support if nobody really knows about it? Are a few signed leases with landowners eyeing all that “free money” all it takes to claim community support? My guess is most in the area are pretty in the dark regarding specifics such as where it would be. This fraudulent industry thrives on secrecy and ambush.

Below are some quotes from this request for proposal. A lot of it is intentionally blurred and difficult to read. There will be 53 turbines at 492 feet high and 12 at 572.5 feet high.

“Molunkus Wind is in an early phase development. Land owner agreements are in place and a desktop wind resource assessment is in place. Molunkus Wind has commenced the survey portion of the permitting process, commenced a critical issues analysis, preliminary surveys for wildlife wetland delineation and visual analysis will begin in 4Q2013.”

“The expected operating life for Molunkus Wind is 20 to 25 years.”

“Applicant has acquired a letter of agreement from the land owner for turbines and other facilities. Molunkus Wind is located within an expedited wind permitting zone. The project area is primarily an area of commercial forestry with very limited rural residential use.”

“Due to anticipated primary and secondary wetland impacts, it is expected that a section 404 permit will be required. As part of the process First Wind will engage in consultation with US Fish and Wildlife Service regarding potential impacts to bald eagles and Atlantic salmon.”

“Maine DEP will evaluate the project based on the following key criteria.”

  • Title, right or interest
  • Financial capacity
  • Technical ability
  • Noise
  • Visual quality and scenic character
  • Wildlife and fisheries
  • Historic sites
  • Unusual natural areas
  • Storm water management
  • Erosion and sedimentary control
  • Blasting
  • Shadow flicker
  • Tangible benefits
  • Decommissioning
  • LUPC certificate

“The generator head primarily extends through commercial forest land but has segments that parallel town roads and are in proximity to rural development.”

“Community outreach and support is an integral element of First Wind’s development strategy and operational plans. As long term owner operator of the projects we develop, we understand the value of positive community relations and support. In addition, we are proud that our projects often become a symbol of local renewable energy leadership, and strive to help communities promote the projects for educational purposes and as examples of environmental stewardship.

“The project will contribute property tax revenue totalling approximately 2.5 million per year.”

290 Million Dollar Molunkus Lake Wind Farm Proposal

I have acquired a lot of information since my last post a week ago. What I thought was a rumor last week, is reality. First Wind is planning a 63 turbine wind project bordered between Mattaseunk Lake, Molunkus Lake, and Route 95.

I have called and left a message for David Fowler of First Wind. I am hoping he will return my call so that I can get more information.

Posted below is a Dodge Report which is what the state puts out for construction companies to keep track of construction work coming up in the state so union and nonunion groups can bid on jobs.  All this is public information, but you need to pay to access this particular database.  This project proposal includes the project scope, names, dates, and cost. To summarize:

  • 63 2.3 MW Wind Turbine Generator Sets

  • Total Investment Value: $290,000,000

  • Permitting approvals, September 2014

  • Authorization for expenditure, September 2014

  • Request for quotes, July 2014

  • Bid Document, October 2014

  • Kick-off, January 2015

  • Completion, October 2015


In the beginning…

There is talk in town that First Wind is researching a wind farm development in Molunkus Township.  I have created this blog as a resource for the people of Molunkus Township to gather and to disseminate information about the rumored Wind Farm project.  Although this is only in the planning stages, it is never too early to collect information and decide what we should do.

I created this blog to get facts out. I have not made up my mind about this project and am not trying to sway anyone one way or another. I just want to make sure that all concerned are fully informed before any turbines are erected, that our voices are heard, and that there are no adverse environmental effects on our neighborhood.

I have made some phone calls and wanted you to know what I’ve found out so far. I first spoke with Nick Archer, Regional Director of Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection. Nick said he would be happy to help us down the line. Right now, he said we needed to talk with James Beyer, Maine’s Bureau of Land and Water Quality Permitting Project Manager. Jim gave me quite a bit of information.

As of today, August 26, 2013, First Wind has not submitted a Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) permit. So, all this is still in the planning stages and the State of Maine has not yet been contacted.

Any applicant must follow guidelines. First Wind must have two public meetings. They must notify abutters and post information of the meeting in the local paper. Jim said I could just give him a call monthly to see if a permit has been submitted.

Once First Wind submits a permit, the State has 185 days to process the application. If the application is accepted and we do not agree with it, there are two levels of appeal. Jim said that all wind project applications in Maine have been appealed. The appeal levels are:

  • To the Board of Environmental Protection
  • To the Supreme Court of Maine

We can submit comments and those who submit comments are called “interested parties.” To submit a comment, you have to have a valid argument such as why the proposal either meets or does not meet the set Maine standards. All who submit comments will be copied on any future correspondence.

Jim said that one of the standards is that the turbines must be at least 1/2 mile away from the closest residence. I pushed back on that, saying that 1/2 mile is not far enough, and people from Mars Hill are suffering from “wind turbine syndrome.” Jim said that things have changed since the Mars Hill project, that there are new noise standards and the new turbine design creates much quieter turbines.

If any of you know anyone involved with the Mars Hill lawsuit, or the Stetson II Project and can supply valid information, it would be appreciated. If you do not want to make the calls, I will be glad to contact these people and let you know what I learn. Please post any information (hopefully not just rumors).