by the Associated Press
AUGUSTA — Gov. John Baldacci has named the 16 members of his wind power task force at a time of increasing interest in the renewable energy option.
The task force, created by executive order in May, will review regulations that affect the development of wind power projects and recommend any changes.
It’ll have considerable influence as it monitors advances in technology and helps to identify the most appropriate sites for wind farms in Maine.
Membership of the panel includes several state lawmakers, a union leader, representatives of environmental and conservation organizations, and commissioners of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Maine already has one wind farm in Mars Hill and large projects are under consideration on Kibby Mountain in northern Franklin County and Black Nubble Mountain, also in Franklin County, near the Sugarloaf USA ski resort.
Also, the Spanish company that wants to buy Central Maine Power’s parent company has been aggressive in promoting wind power.
Iberdrola SA operates wind power projects from the Pacific Northwest to Europe. Through its acquisition of Scottish Power, it owns Oregon-based PPM Energy, one of the largest wind-energy producers in the U.S.