First Wind's Bowers rejected again

First Wind, the Massachusetts-based developer, has had its Bowers project in Maine rejected again, leaving the 48MW project in serious doubt.

Several years ago, after an initial series of rejections, First Wind shrank the project from 27 turbines to just 16, in order to placate locals concerned about the visual impact.

The latest version of the project would have seen First Wind install 16 3MW turbines from either Vestas or Siemens, with total investment likely to hit $100m in an economically hard-hit area.

But the revised project was rejected last year by Maine's Department of Environmental Protection, and First Wind's appeal has now been rejected by the citizen-run Board of Environmental Protection in a 4-1 vote.

First Wind says it is considering another legal challenge, although its options are unclear.

First Wind has had plenty of success in Maine, with more than 200MW of wind capacity in operation in Maine, and having recently closed financing for its 148MW Oakfield project in the northeastern state.