Friday, March 26, was a gusty, blustery day when March felt more like a lion than a lamb.

And it was an appropriate day to celebrate Maine Wind Day at the Statehouse — an observance that highlighted megawatts currently being produced by wind projects in Maine and offered insight into future wind projects in the state.

“It’s a windy day in Maine which means that the turbines are turning and clean energy is coming into the grid,” said Pete Didisheim of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. He said the megawatts already produced by Maine wind projects, those under construction and those that have permits, are enough to power 175,000 homes.

“Maine has a stronger wind resource on land than the rest of New England combined, and our offshore wind resource is one of the strongest in the world,” said Didisheim.

The environmentalist thanked the companies that have invested in Maine wind power and the legislators who have made wind projects possible in the state.

“We need to have large efforts in energy efficiency,” said Didisheim. “Twenty percent of Maine’s energy could come from wind power by 2030.”

About 20 businesses, educational institutions and nongovernmental organizations set up displays in the Hall of Flags demonstrating how wind power has benefited them. Wind-power backers crowded the marble steps leading to the third floor as a series of speakers praised wind power and its potential in a noontime press conference.

Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, said it is state policy to reach 2,000 megawatts of wind power by 2015 and 3,000 megawatts of wind power by 2020.

Payne said Maine already produces, or has projects permitted to produce, 367 megawatts of wind power. From these projects, the state will see an estimated $750 million of investment of which about $283 million will stay in Maine to produce jobs and sustain economic opportunities.

“We estimate the incremental wages to be equal to $288,000 per megawatt, which leads to more than $105 million in wages for Maine residents already,” said Payne.

The current Maine wind projects are projected to pay more than $93 million in direct property taxes, community benefit agreements, land conservation and electric rate cuts to their host communities.

“These payments are coming at a time when there is limited, if any, investment of this magnitude occurring elsewhere in the state,” said Payne. “Wind power in Maine is making huge investments in our state, our environment, our businesses and our people. We must stand ready to support and welcome them into our communities.”

John Cooney, vice president for project development for Reed & Reed Inc. of Woolwich, said his construction firm has built eight wind energy projects that produce almost 400 megawatts of energy. The company is in the process of building more wind projects that will produce another 350 megawatts of wind power in Maine, he said.

In 2009, more than half of Reed & Reed’s revenue and payroll was generated by wind energy projects, according to Cooney. He said Reed & Reed hired 10 wind energy engineers, all of them graduates of the University of Maine.

Tim Crowley, president of Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle, said his college is in the process of creating the state’s first academic degree program in wind power technology.

“We believe wind power has a tremendous future in the state of Maine,” said Crowley. “The work force to support that is critical.”

Dana Connors, president of the Maine Chamber of Commerce, called wind “our indigenous, renewable energy that we have available to us.”

“That diversification will stabilize our energy prices,” said Connors.

Senate Minority Leader Kevin Raye said, “All across Maine, we have windmills spinning. As a person who represents a county that so often has been left behind, we are thrilled to have two wind projects — Stetson and Stetson II. And the port of Eastport has benefited.”

There are three goals for energy in Maine, according to Senate Majority Leader Philip Bartlett, D-Gorham: “Lower cost, reducing price volatility and reducing environmental impact,” he said. “Wind energy addresses all three of these goals.”

Rep. Stacey Fitts, R-Pittsfield, said the Legislature’s Utilities and Energy Committee, of which he is a member, dealt unanimously with every bill that came before it this session. “When I started as a legislator six years ago, wind power was a concept,” said Fitts. “Now it’s an industry.”

He said communities in the Eustis area have benefited economically from the nearby Kibby Mountain wind power project.