Articles from Maine

Maine groups reach agreement with wind developer

"This does more for PR value for First Wind than it does anything else," says Chris O'Neil, who is with Friends of Maine's Mountains, which actively opposes the 62-turbine project in Bingham, Kingsbury Plantation and Mayfield Township. He says he's glad that the groups got something out of the agreement, but wonders why First Wind would offer anything at all, given that the groups presented no real challenge to the project.
19 Feb 2014

Maine gov. pushes back against wind energy bill

State officials under Republican Gov. Paul LePage say the Democratic-supported bill would prevent regulators from receiving information needed to weigh wind energy projects. And Patrick Woodcock, director of the governor’s energy office, spoke against the measure. He told the committee the proposed decision-making process ‘‘would continue to try to simply rubber stamp projects going forward without asking those questions about how can we help this project benefit the Maine people.’’
18 Feb 2014

Bingham hearing again pits First Wind project backers against opponents

More than 100 supporters and opponents of what would be the state’s largest and most expensive wind project presented their views Wednesday night in a public hearing called by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. They spoke of noise and light pollution, quality-of-life issues, the economic benefits of wind power and the partnership of private land owners and business.
13 Feb 2014

Maine Voices: Bill favoring wind industry threatens to muzzle Maine citizens, regulators

This hastily prepared assault was crafted by the industry with the clear intention of hijacking the public process, restraining regulators and punishing opposition. It’s a mirror image of how the industry secured their highly favorable 2008 Wind Act ...L.D. 1750’s arrival at the end of a short legislative session serves to stifle public debate and allows Alfond and his cronies to push through their fix with minimal public scrutiny.
13 Feb 2014

Acoustics expert disputes wind company’s noise study

An acoustics investigator is disputing a recently released report that indicated Beaver Ridge Wind in Freedom is operating at noise levels below the noise limit required of similar wind projects. Stephen Ambrose, of Windham, reported to the legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee that he felt the report, which was conducted by an independent third party, failed to take into account noise results from particularly windy days.
6 Feb 2014

UT residents take back rights in wind energy development

Hosting the meeting was Katherine Cassidy. Cassidy reminded the audience that the focus of the assembly was not targeted towards future wind power development in Maine. The urgent cause for the gathering was to recognize that the rights of certain citizens are being jeopardized. “It’s not about wind power. It’s about citizens rights,” said Cassidy.
5 Feb 2014

Review of Bingham wind project to resume this month

According to the draft analysis, northern long-eared bats and little brown bats are listed as state species of special concern and are being considered for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. They are among the least common bats to be killed by wind turbines, but concern has risen because of the rise of white-nose.
1 Feb 2014

Maine milestone for Bingham wind

The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a public meeting 12 February to review the report on the developer’s permit application. DEP commissioner Patricia Aho will preside over the session and gather public comments.
29 Jan 2014

Maine Voices: LePage is right – wind farm subsidies are poor use of government funding

And now with Maine’s southern neighbors halting industrial wind in their states, they’re paying to build thousands of turbines in Maine, to devastate every magnificent Maine ridge, pinnacle and mountain with howling machines more than 50 stories high, some so tall they’ll be the third-tallest structures in New England.
28 Jan 2014

Bill pushes Maine to do more with solar energy; LePage takes shot at wind

“Our energy prices are becoming more expensive for businesses competing across the world, and the Maine people are spending more of their disposable income on energy,” LePage wrote in a message to the Legislature. “Maine’s energy policy has been focused on streamlining wind development that is almost completely contracted with southern New England states. This is not helping Maine lower electricity prices or assisting Mainers with their high heating costs.”
21 Jan 2014

Survey paints cool reception for wind project

The survey asks people to rate their level of support for the project based on their current knowledge. On a scale of 1 to 5, with “1” the least supportive, 63 percent checked “1.” Fifteen percent went with “2”; 5 percent rated their level of support a “3”; 8 percent, a “4”; and 9 percent checked “5,” the most supportive option regarding the project Maine Aqua Ventus is pursuing.
16 Jan 2014

UMaine’s offshore wind energy pilot project wins initial OK

A long-term contract, as laid out in a finalized term sheet, will now be negotiated between Maine Aqua Ventus and Central Maine Power, which is the utility within whose jurisdiction the pilot project would be generating power. The term sheet approved Tuesday calls for Maine Aqua Ventus to sell electricity to CMP for 23 cents per kilowatt hour. The PUC will review and approve the final contract.
14 Jan 2014

LePage tries again to cut Maine’s renewable-energy standard

For the fourth year in a row, Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration is pushing to roll back or significantly change portions of Maine law aimed at boosting in-state renewable energy production. LePage says he wants to level the state’s energy-production playing field and open the door to cheap, renewable hydropower from Quebec and maritime Canada.
6 Jan 2014

Maine wind farm still a worry in development-free town

Brighton Plantation was approached by First Wind about a potential site for the project, but the town has a zoning ordinance that doesn’t allow for commercial and industrial development. "he project is right across our border and some of us are concerned that with it being so close to our town borders and us being a small town whether they will be respecting our borders.”
4 Jan 2014

Monhegan residents voice concerns over proposed offshore wind project

Lannicelli said Friday that most residents were worried that they were powerless to stop the project. She said a recent outreach efforts by Maine Aqua Ventus had only heightened the panic among some people on Monhegan. She said many were concerned about the politics of the project and the influence of its potential benefactors.
28 Dec 2013

Wind farms in Maine stir a power struggle

But the situation has prompted some soul-searching as some residents worry more wind turbines will turn the woodsy state into New England's utility closet. Opponents also question wind power's environmental merits and say turbines aren't worth spoiled views or noise. Larry Dunphy, a Republican state representative, recently posited a future when "you won't be able to climb a mountain without seeing blinking red lights and spinning turbines."
24 Dec 2013
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