The Boston utility NStar plans to allow its residential and small business customers to buy their electricity from environmentally friendly wind farms - for a price.
In a first of its kind for Massachusetts utilities, NStar is proposing to let its 1.1 million electric customers in Boston and 80 eastern Massachusetts cities and towns buy their power directly from a wind farm in upstate New York and a second under development in Maine.
Because the wind farms are more expensive than conventional sources like coal and nuclear power, a typical homeowner would pay a premium of about $7.50 to $15 monthly. The program, being announced today, will need approval from state utility regulators before it is launched, which could be as soon as Jan. 1.
Maine Mountain Power formally filed a revised proposal with the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission on Tuesday, July 10. The proposal is to develop a 54-megawatt, 18-turbine wind power project on Black Nubble Mountain near Sugarloaf/USA and MMP has jointly announced with the Natural Resource Council of Maine an agreement to permanently restrict wind power development on nearby Redington Pond Range. According to a MMP release, if the Black Nubble Wind Farm is approved and built, a restrictive covenant will prohibit the development of wind power on the last undeveloped and unprotected 4,000-foot peak in Maine.
FREEDOM -- After more than a year of debate, members of the Planning Board on Thursday night approved a Portland company's bid to erect three electricity generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge.
But, according to a neighbor who has opposed the project, town approval was easier than state approval will be.
Members of the Land Use Regulation Commission had a chance to see and hear some of the positives and negatives of wind energy on Thursday as they toured the Mars Hill wind farm in central Aroostook County.
Because Mars Hill is located outside of Maine's Unorganized Territory, the wind farm is not within LURC's jurisdiction. But the commissioners and staff hoped the tour would offer valuable perspective as they review three major wind-energy proposals, including one by the operators of the Mars Hill facility.
About 20 environmental, business, health and faith-based organizations are expected to announce their support this morning for a new scaled-down wind farm plan near the Sugarloaf USA ski resort.
The news conference is timed to coincide with the formal filing of the Black Nubble Mountain wind farm proposal by Maine Mountain Power. The proposal is the scaled-down version of a more controversial plan for turbines on the Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble.
PORTLAND, Maine -- A scaled-down proposal for a wind farm in Maine's western mountains is being filed Tuesday with the Land Use Regulation Commission.
The latest plan by Maine Mountain Power follows LURC's rejection of its broader plan that included wind turbines along the Redington Pond Range. Some environmental groups had opposed that aspect of the plan, saying it threatened to ruin scenic vistas enjoyed by hikers.
The latest project on Black Nubble Mountain calls for 18 wind turbines that would generate 54 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 20,000 homes a year. That's more than any other wind power installation now operating in New England.
Twenty environmental, economic, health and faith-based organizations plan to announce their support for the project at a news conference on Tuesday in Portland.
Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
AUGUSTA — A new study of the legalities and logistics of an electrical utility partnership involving Maine and New Brunswick shows no significant barriers to such a cross-border collaboration.
It also shows “significant economic and environmental benefits” are possible on both sides of the border through closer coordination in the production and transmission of electricity.
FREEDOM - The Portland company hoping to erect three electricity-generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge has reapplied for a town permit.
This time, without a commercial development ordinance posing a stumbling block, the project appears on the fast-track to fruition.
Competitive Energy Services has reapplied for permission to erect three wind turbines on Beaver Ridge.
The town received Competitive Energy's application to build the turbines in a thick binder delivered by Federal Express Monday evening, said Town Clerk Cindy Abbott.
The planning board is scheduled to consider the application and likely give its approval on July 12.
The 16 members of the Governor's Task Force on Wind Power Development in Maine have been named.
"I expect great things from the members of this Task Force," Governor John E. Baldacci said. "They are extremely talented and experienced, and they have the abilities necessary to advance the development of wind power in Maine."
Stetson Mountain is more ridgeline than mountain, running like a backbone for six miles through the rolling hills that dominate Washington County's northernmost border with Canada.
Moderate winds sweep across those hills from Canada and pick up speed as they zoom up Stetson Mountain, which at roughly 1,100 feet is among the tallest ridges in this sparsely peopled corner of Maine.
That combination of high winds and low population has one company seeing green.
The Maine Use Regulation Commission voted 6 to 1 on Wednesday, June 6 to reopen the Public Record for Maine Mountain Power's wind farm proposal for Northern Franklin County.
A letter dated May 9, 2007 by MMP requested LURC to reopen the Public Hearing and Public Record because it had reevaluated its initial petition in response to both a strong opposition that raised concern about the project and on a modification recommendation proposed by the Natural Resource Council of Maine.
During the lengthy Public Hearing process, NCRM suggested that the petitioner revise its original proposal and develop only the Black Nubble Mountain Range to reduce the size of the development area which will reduce the potential for impacts.
FREEDOM-The on-again, off-again wind turbine project on Beaver Ridge may have gotten the final green light on Tuesday when voters agreed to repeal the commercial zoning ordinance that all but doomed the project earlier this year.
Residents agreed by a 159-112 margin to repeal the ordinance, which was established last year in response to Portland-based Competitive Energy Service's plan to install three 400-foot turbines on the ridge.
On April 25 the staff of the Land Use Regulation Commission deemed the application from TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. complete. The application includes the rezoning of 2,908 acres in the Kibby and Skinner Townships to become a Planned Development Subdistrict for the purpose of constructing the Kibby Wind Power Project. The proposal includes a 132 megawatt wind farm consisting of 44 turbines, transmission lines, gravel access roads, maintenance and operations building, a substation and related activities.
State regulators agreed Wednesday to consider a scaled-down proposal for a controversial wind farm in western Maine near Sugarloaf/USA rather than force the developer to start the review process from scratch.
The Land Use Regulation Commission also named intervenors and set tentative public hearing dates for two less-contentious wind energy projects proposed for northern Washington and Franklin counties.
In the latest twist in an already complicated case, LURC voted 6-1 to essentially keep alive a revised application from Maine Mountain Power to build a wind farm in Carrabassett Valley.
Three environmental organizations agreed to back the proposed Kibby Mountain wind-power project in Franklin County after the developer agreed to pay $500,000 to protect several high-elevation acres in Oxford County.
According to a late Tuesday afternoon report, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Audubon and Natural Resources Council of Maine negotiated the deal with TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc.
Wendy Todd, a resident of Mars Hill, Maine, and her husband, Perrin, live about 2,600 feet away from one of the 28 turbines that compose the Mars Hill Wind Farm, Wendy Todd said.
Todd's story is one opponents to the Ellis County wind project have referenced. When her family first heard about plans for construction of the project in 2006, they were not led to anticipate problems, she said.
"We thought we had asked all the right questions. We thought ‘if we can deal with the visual aspect and get through the construction phase, we'll be all set,' " Todd said. "There was never any mention of strobing, shadow flicker was never even mentioned. The noise issues were put on the back burner almost immediately."
However, she and her husband have been battling these issues, particularly the noise, which Todd said varies with the wind speed.
The [land use regulation] commission will decide whether to accept a staff recommendation to reject Maine Mountain Power's proposal to put 30 wind turbines on Black Nubble Mountain and Redington Pond Range in Franklin County. At the same meeting, the commission will also decide whether to accept a staff recommendation to reopen the record to consider a much smaller version of he same project with 18 turbines on Black Nubble only.
Representatives of TransCanada Energy Ltd. will hold an open house Thursday to field questions on the proposed $270 million Kibby Wind Power project in northern Franklin County. The company plans to site 44, three-megawatt turbines on private land that is actively managed for forestry on Kibby Mountain (17 to 19 turbines) and Kibby Range (25 to 27 turbines) in Kibby Township and Skinner Township, about 8 miles north of Eustis.