Articles from Maine
I witnessed first hand the underbelly of the wind energy machine and how they intimidate ordinance committee members and manipulate small towns strapped for money. Using innocuous terms like “windmills” and “wind farms” can’t disguise the reality that wind energy is a ruthless business ...I have faith that this returning blast of wind won’t hoodwink the Frankfort residents. I also hope that this small Maine town isn’t torn irreparably in half as a result.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection held the brief hearing so the public could have the chance to weigh in on a proposal by First Wind to amend its approved project to erect more than a dozen turbines in Townships 16 and 22. The company wants to amend its Maine DEP permit for the Hancock Wind project so it has the option to erect 574-foot-tall turbines instead of the 512-foot-tall turbines approved by the DEP.
ELLSWORTH, Maine — Hancock County commissioners voted Friday to approve financial agreements with a First Wind subsidiary expected to generate millions of dollars in revenue for the county.
Frequently clashing with Maine's environmental advocates, LePage blames renewable energy policies for driving up energy costs, which he says are holding Maine's economy back by preventing large companies from locating here and forcing businesses to offer lower wages.
The Board of Selectmen voted Monday to schedule a special selectmen meeting to address additional changes to the town's Wind Energy Facility Ordinance, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Tuesday morning.
“We absolutely want to prevent this senseless wind project. Destroying almost 20 miles of ridge-line at a cost of $400 million, only to gain a fraction of 1 percent unnecessary electricity, is a ridiculous trade-off and a brutal travesty.”
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection was expected to grant the permit for the company’s proposed wind farm in Bingham after it issued a draft order approving the 62-turbine, 186-megawatt project on Aug. 27.
Controversy has trailed the project since Maine Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho in November 2012 rejected the developers’ permit application based on her assessment that a wind farm would adversely affect the scenic character of the region, specifically near Saponac Pond. In 2013, the Board of Environmental Protection voted twice to overturn Aho’s decision.
Nearly three years after a slim majority of Frankfort residents voted to adopt a strict, controversial wind ordinance aimed at keeping turbines off their hilltops, the company that wanted to develop wind power on Mount Waldo has returned.
The 180-day moratorium will prevent the construction or use of towers not already permitted to give the town a chance to draft an ordinance with restrictions on future towers. The selectmen proposed the moratorium in response to concerns from residents about a plan to build a cellphone tower.
In May, the DEP approved the nearly $50 million, eight-turbine wind project on Canton Mountain, issuing a permit to Canton Mountain Wind LLC, which is owned by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass. On July 17, Alice McKay Barnett, a wind power opponent, submitted seven documents of supplemental evidence that mostly concern turbine noise adversely affecting health.
Blue Sky West, a Boston-based developer and subsidiary of the company First Wind Holdings Inc., has been seeking approval for the project since May 2013 amid challenges, including a Maine Supreme Judicial Court case about a key financial partnership, and delays because of perceived threats to bats.
Residents voted 89-7 Thursday evening to enact a six-month moratorium on wind energy projects, giving selectmen time to finish revising the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance. The ordinance was approved in 2012 and the revisions began in January 2013.
The Owls Head-based solar technology company Ascendant Energy has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, seeking to eliminate more than $780,000 in debt including grants and loans from the Maine Technology Institute and investment from the Wiscasset-based Coastal Enterprises Inc.
The Board of Selectmen voted 4-1 Monday evening to approve a warrant for a special town meeting where residents will vote on whether to enact a 180-day wind energy facility moratorium.
A Carthage woman has filed an administrative appeal with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection of the eight-turbine wind project on Canton Mountain. Alice McKay Barnett, an anti-wind power advocate, submitted seven documents of supplemental evidence on July 17 that mostly concerns turbine noise adversely affecting health.
Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of a global utility business, has leased thousands of acres in two coastal communities and is gathering data to assess the feasibility of a wind energy project there.
Alan Stone, attorney for appellant the Houlton Water Co., said the two commissioners who approved the deal had not followed the direction set by the Supreme Judicial Court. “We don’t believe that what the commission did today really addressed the issues” raised by the court, said Stone.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to allow Emera Maine’s parent company to invest $333 million through a joint venture with wind farm developer First Wind, a deal that was sent back to the commission for further review after a Maine Supreme Judicial Court decision.
“People appreciate the need in society for good, consistent cellphone coverage, yet there are some challenges in terms of placement,” Hall said. “I don’t think anyone wants a town littered with towers.”