In mid-December in freezing rain on 1,085-foot Stetson Mountain
, close to the Canadian border in Maine’s easternmost Washington County, a construction crew jockeyed a 250-foot rotor assembly atop a 256-foot tower. Hoisted by an enormous crane, the blades were carefully guided into place until, finally, there was an audible, satisfying clunk.
“She’s in,” said Ron Perry, field safety specialist with the construction company Reed & Reed
, watching the operation from the ground.
And Maine moved another windmill closer to its goal of making wind power, a relative newcomer in the New England and the Northeast power mix, a major source of electricity.
Maine will soon have 400 megawatts in wind energy—nearly half the electricity once produced by the now-closed Maine Yankee nuclear plant. A Maine task-force goal of 2,000 megawatts of wind energy by 2015, some from fixed offshore platforms, still looks ambitious, but it’s not out of the question. On that same December day, the state announced first-in-the-nation testing of areas designated for offshore wind turbines. Reed & Reed, a Maine-based construction company headed by co-owners Jackson Parker ’76
and Tom Reed ’87
, is a leading player, erecting wind farms across northern Maine and as far south as the Berkshires in Massachusetts.