First Wind, an independent U.S.-based renewable energy company, and the Penobscot Off Road Riders co-hosted the first “Ride the Wind” ATV Ride-In June 15 at the Rollins (Me.) Wind Project, the company said in a news release.
The Ride-In event brought together ATV enthusiasts from across the area to experience one of Maine’s wind projects up-close while enjoying the scenic beauty of the area. Event participants were able to tour the Rollins Wind project.
“We were excited to co-host the ATV Ride-In and we are very pleased with the excitement around this event. ATV riders are an important part of Maine’s tourism industry and outdoor recreation economy,” said Berni Vars, Fundraising and Membership Chairman for the Penobscot Off Road Riders. “We appreciate First Wind’s support of the ATV riding community and the work they have done to ensure that their project sites are open for recreational use.”
Situated in the towns of Lincoln, Burlington, Lee and Winn in Penobscot County, the 60-MW Rollins project generates enough clean energy to power about 23,000 Maine homes. The power is being delivered to Maine homes and businesses at cost-competitive rates as part of long-term electricity supply contracts with Bangor Hydro and Central Maine Power, according to First Wind.
As part of the Rollins project and its four other projects in operation in Maine, First Wind said it "has worked diligently to ensure that the sites are open for outdoor and recreational use. First Wind supports several outdoor and recreational organizations, including the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine and numerous local ATV, snowmobile and hiking clubs."
“We are proud to sponsor the Ride the Wind ATV Ride-In, as it underscores our commitment to increasing the outdoor and recreational use of our projects along with our ongoing dedication to developing local events that support our host communities,” said Neil Kiely, Director of Development at First Wind. “We are working to build awareness and increase access for popular recreational and outdoors activities at wind projects in the state.”
Event participants were given a tour of the Rollins project wind towers and the Ride-in concluded with a barbecue luncheon and a 50-50 raffle to benefit Camp Capella, which provides diverse recreational and educational opportunities for people with disabilities. The ATV Ride-in follows several other recreational activities hosted by First Wind including the annual Snowmobile Ride-In, which has given snowmobile riders the opportunity to see both the Stetson Wind and Rollins projects.
First Wind currently has five operational wind projects in Maine, including Rollins, the cumulative 83-MW Stetson Wind I and II projects in Washington County, the 42-MW Mars Hill project in Aroostook County, and the 34-MW Bull Hill Wind project in Hancock County.