First wind gets approval for 51MW Oakfield Wind Project in Maine

Evergreen Wind Power II, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of First Wind, has received an approval

Situated in the town of Oakfield, Maine, the Oakfield wind project will consist of 34GE 1.5MW turbines that have the capacity to produce clean, renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes. Start of construction on the project is yet to be determined.

Matt Kearns, vice president of development of First Wind for New England, said: "We appreciate the review of this application by the Maine DEP. We are grateful for the support we received from Oakfield and the surrounding communities during the process.

"We've worked very closely with the town of Oakfield to create a process so residents can ask questions about wind power and our projects. We look forward to this continued partnership as we work to make this project a reality."

The Oakfield wind project is expected to create numerous construction jobs and provide revenue to the surrounding communities. First Wind spent $50m on Maine-based businesses and employed over 350 workers during the construction of Stetson Wind, a 57MW project in Washington county that has been in operation since January 2009. The Oakfield wind project is expected to provide similar types of benefits to the region, the company said.

First Wind owns and operates the 42MW Mars hill wind project in Aroostook county along with Stetson Wind. In addition, First Wind started construction on a 25.5MW expansion to the Stetson Wind project in November 2009.

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No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.