Library from Maine

Northeast grid rules could make or break clean energy

ISO New England’s draft plan aims to strike a middle ground. While the grid operator’s working proposal eliminates the automatic price floor for subsidized resources, a similar calculation should still “be applied in certain situations,” ISO New England explained in a presentation to stakeholders in September. “In June, when we launched the effort to remove the MOPR from the capacity market, we made clear that we will do so in a way that doesn’t jeopardize either power system reliability or competitive pricing in the capacity market,” Matt Kakley, senior communications specialist at ISO New England, said in an email.
23 Nov 2021

Avangrid files lawsuit, vows to continue power line project despite voters’ rejection

Maine’s vote was being monitored by the utility industry in the Northeast, and the result sends a troubling signal, according to Timothy Fox, vice president of ClearView Energy Partners, a research firm based in Washington, D.C. ...the Maine vote demonstrates the challenges of building transmission lines needed to carry carbon-free electricity. “It’s hard not to view last night’s vote as another demonstration that, even with permits in hand and construction underway, a project can face fatal consequences.” 
4 Nov 2021

Residency, demographics, and movement patterns of North Atlantic right whales Eubalaena glacialis in an offshore wind energy development area in southern New England, USA

N045p251-compressed_thumb This important research sheds critical light on the habitat of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale in relation to offshore wind lease areas. The abstract of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded from the document links on this page.
29 Jul 2021

Fight between rival energy companies threatens to delay CMP’s $1 billion energy corridor

While Avangrid has agreed to pay for the upgrade itself, NextEra’s position is that Avangrid should also compensate NextEra for any revenues lost while the Seabrook station is offline to allow the work to happen. In filings it estimated these costs at about $560,000 a day. But Avangrid doesn’t trust its rival not to slow walk the work, especially if there is no net financial cost for it to do so. 
23 Jul 2021

Mills signs offshore wind ban amid lingering skepticism from fishermen

Under the law, new wind projects are now confined to federal waters. LD 1619, sponsored by Sen. Mark Lawrence (D-Eliot), stipulates new offshore wind developments are permanently prohibited in state waters, but will be permitted in federal waters if, by March 2023, the Governor’s Energy Office develops and proposes a planned research strategy to guide the development of such projects.
11 Jul 2021

Offshore wind compromise comes out of committee

A compromise has emerged in the state Legislature that would install a permanent ban on wind energy development in state waters and give the fishing industry a seat at the table on any federal projects that want to connect to land through the state’s jurisdiction. The compromise came from the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, which had been considering a pair of dueling bills on offshore wind. The first was an outright ban of state agencies permitting wind development in the Gulf of Maine proposed by local state Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor). The second was a 10-year moratorium on offshore wind power projects in state waters that came from Governor Janet Mills. 
23 Jun 2021

$235M Downeast Wind project under review by LUPC

The LUPC on May 19 determined that the wind project is an allowed use in the area, with no rezoning required, but is still reviewing whether the plans meet use requirements for the general management subdistrict, as well as protection districts for floodplains, great pond, remote recreation and wetland. The commission has asked for additional site information from Apex, including more detailed maps about location of turbines and other elements, and a history of the land division on the site.
15 Jun 2021

Maine fishing interests seek total ban on offshore wind energy

More than 60 commercial fishermen and their supporters testified Tuesday in favor of a bill that would block any attempt to develop offshore wind projects anywhere along the Maine coast. The bill would prohibit any state agency from permitting or approving any offshore wind energy project regardless of its location. It was introduced by Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham, R-Winter Harbor, a commercial fisherman, and co-sponsored by eight other Republican lawmakers.
5 May 2021

Fishing community sounds off on offshore wind, moratorium

As the rally was getting underway, Governor Janet Mills unveiled a bill that would enact a 10-year offshore wind development moratorium in state waters while state officials create a “roadmap” on how and if offshore wind will work in Maine. But for many local fishermen who went to the rally, that wasn’t good enough.  
4 May 2021

Maine counties chafe at lower-than-expected payments from wind farms

But several counties and towns are finding out they are getting less revenue out of the wind projects than they had expected when they were wooed in the 2000s and 2010s by developers looking to erect turbines several hundred feet tall along local remote, elevated ridgelines. In some cases, the developers are arguing that recent advancements in wind turbine technology have made newer models so efficient that older, less efficient turbines erected nearly a decade or more ago have lost much of their taxable value.
8 Apr 2021

Franklin County to repay state for wind farm tax abatement

According to a letter sent to Helix Maine Wind Development on March 4 by the Maine Revenue Services Property Tax Division, the state reduced the valuation of the 44-turbine facility by $54.86 million. As a result, a refund of $469,611.60 is warranted for property in the townships of Wyman, Jim Pond, Kibby, Chain of Ponds and Skinner for tax year 2020, according to supervisor Lisa Whynot's letter to Helix. The refund to Helix is expected to be issued within four to six weeks.
19 Mar 2021

Costly power grid upgrade to boost renewables will test Maine's commitment

Maine's ambitious goal of cutting carbon out of its economy by the mid-21st century is facing a harsh reality: The network of wires and substations built to feed power from central generating stations to homes and businesses isn't up to the job of handling the two-way, intermittent flow of energy from solar and wind farms to electric vehicles, heat pumps and giant storage batteries.
28 Feb 2021

Solar industry baffled, angry as CMP cites need for costly upgrades

Maine’s burgeoning solar industry is up in arms, after many developers received emails from Central Maine Power last week indicating that their projects are causing technical problems at substations that could require costly upgrades. The controversy is erupting as scores of solar developers are building and proposing projects in Maine worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
4 Feb 2021

Aiming to ease fishing industry’s concerns, Mills proposes moratorium on offshore wind

In a letter to licensed commercial fishermen, Mills announced that she will ask the Legislature to approve a 10-year moratorium on new offshore wind projects in waters managed by the state, which extend three miles from shore. The ban, however, wouldn’t include the already permitted New England Aqua Ventus demonstration site off Monhegan island. 
25 Jan 2021

http://www.windaction.org/posts?location=Maine
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