Library from Maine
BREWER - As wind power begins to blow into Maine, state regulators on Wednesday considered its potential to squeeze increasingly expensive - and less environmentally friendly - fossil fuels out of the region's energy mix.
The head of New England's biggest natural gas utility promised yesterday that homes and businesses across the region will face no shortage of gas for heating this winter.
Growing interest in wind power has led to six new wind farm proposals in Vermont and at least five wind farms now being constructed or under discussion in New Hampshire. In Maine, at least two projects are facing reviews
New England's largest operating project is a 6.6-megawatt, 11-turbine wind farm in Searsburg, Vt., run by Green Mountain Power Corp. The other commercial-scale project -- perhaps the region's most visible Ð is the single, 164-foot-high turbine in Hull, Mass. Flights out of Boston's Logan Airport sometimes pass right by it.
New England is possessed of much talent but looses a considerable portion of it to other states due to the regions relative weakness in providing for a reasonable priced cost of living even though taxes do not appear to be a competitive disadvantage to New England.
"Its intrinsic value is that it's remote," she said, which is, ironically, one of the arguments for putting the towers and perhaps later wind turbines there
New England faces major near-term challenges in all parts of its energy infrastructure including natural gas facilities, electric transmission lines and electric power generation, according to a report released today by the New England Energy Alliance.
And, while I agree with Mr. Shutkin that wind power, as a source of clean and renewable energy, should and will play a role in our future energy portfolio, its role will necessarily be small because of its fundamental limitation as an energy source: wind power is ‘intermittent’, i.e. it provides energy only when the wind blows, and, as such, wind power is a source of supplemental, not ‘base load’ energy.
This presentation indicates that for New England the increasing demand for summer-time electricity is greater and increasing faster than winter-time demand. The fast-rising need for power in summer will likely result in construction of new power plants to keep ahead of demand - although inland industrial wind plants will not be able to contribute much to this demand period due to their very low capacity factor during summer months.
Many of our politicians have run for office under the slogan, "Let's keep Maine, for Maine." If that is a true desire, then we should research these windmills much deeper. Call your state representative today. Let him or her know you care about what is happening, and you want more answers. There are too many holes in this process to let the windmills go ahead. Is this right for Maine? It certainly isn't right for me.
Comments to FERC by the New England Conference of Public Utility Commissions and the Vermont Department of Public Service
But the most eyebrow raising turn of events took place in June when King's conservation commissioner, Ronald Lovaglio, replaced LURC staffers who gave Kenetech's project a negative review. They had pointed out that the potential impact on the fragile mountainous soils and endangered birds were serious project flaws. Following the staff replacements, another LURC employee resigned, protesting against heavy-handed tactics.