Library from Maine
Wind turbines? Not in our backyard. That was the message from the Otis Planning Board on April 4, when members voted 3-2 to adopt a new wind turbine ordinance aimed at blocking commercial wind development in the town.
While developers have applied for space on the regional grid’s interconnection queue, further development will depend on regional activities. Massachusetts, the biggest destination for clean energy, has mandated aggressive targets for clean energy and called for projects throughout the region. It mostly has been preoccupied with offshore wind and eventually, Canadian hydropower.
In her third executive order, Gov. Janet Mills on Thursday ended a 2018 moratorium restricting the issuance of permits for wind turbine projects across the state.
The disagreement over Vineyard Wind’s waiver concerns a technicality in New England’s power markets. The company requested an exemption that would have allowed it to bypass a minimum offer price on subsidized energy resources that participate in the grid operator’s annual markets for reserve power. FERC agreed to a fix proposed by ISO New England that would allow Vineyard Wind to qualify for the exemption in the coming years.
Residents made more noise than the quiet wind on Wednesday as stakeholders met at the Airline Community School to discuss a proposal for a 22-turbine wind farm under review by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
Roxwind LLC has submitted a permit application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for the Roxwind Project on North Twin Mountain. The project would produce 15.2 megawatts of power and include access roads and overhead and underground collection lines.
LUPC approval is required because some of the project, which is spread between Eastbrook, Osborn, Aurora and Township 16, is in unorganized territory, where land use planning is governed by the state. The plans also will have to be approved by the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The wind turbine was purchased from and installed by Entegrity Wind Systems in February 2008 for about $200,000. ...Entegrity guaranteed that for five years the turbine would produce 90,000 kilowatt-hours a year and the promise for five years of free maintenance. Unfortunately, Entegrity went bankrupt in 2009, and when the company dissolved so did the guarantee.
After eight years of what some call obstructionist policies, renewables advocates look forward to Janet Mills in the Blaine House.
Because it may or may not be there when you flip the switch, the value of electricity generated by windmills is limited. Energy expert James LaBrecque said it this way: “Together, all the intermittent solar and wind power installed across the country has never displaced a single dispatchable generation plant. These expensive, low-production sources of power add additional cost to the whole electric system by forcing dispatchable generators to run less efficiently and less productively."
As the Maine Wind Energy Act enters a second decade, developers say the state is unlikely to see strings of new turbine towers on the horizon, as market forces overtake policy directives. In 2018, only a 22-turbine wind farm in Hancock County and a four-turbine project in Oxford County have active permit applications. There are several reasons why.
Maine's next leader has the potential to alter the state's priorities, and each of the four candidates has distinctive views on renewables, regulations and CMP's proposal in western Maine.
The controversial commission held its first meeting Thursday ...The Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission is charged with examining the potential economic impact of commercial wind power development on tourism in western and coastal Maine as well as recommending changes to the state’s existing permitting system for wind power projects.
Chris O'Neil, a consultant to wind power opponents, quit the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission last week, the third departure in recent months from the panel that LePage exempted from Maine's right-to-know law.
“There’s basically no benefit to Maine, there’s no amount of money worth this kind of massive destruction. It would change the brand of Maine. There would be multiple negative impacts including to tourism, the environment,” she says. “These towers are 100 feet tall,” says opponent Matt Wagner.
A Boston-based energy development firm has revived a proposal to construct what would be a third wind farm in northeastern Hancock County. ...The Weaver Wind proposal, which Longroad bought out of SunEdison’s 2016 bankruptcy, would result in 22 turbines being erected in the two towns.
No land closures planned
Greenwood residents Monday overwhelmingly approved proposed amendments to the commercial wind farm section of town ordinance, effectively banning such farms through a new tower height restriction. The vote was 206-41.
Many property owners have expressed concern about what they say are possible negative effects of wind turbines in areas such as noise, health, scenic resources, wildlife and property values. One new ordinance provision – the height restriction on turbine towers – would effectively ban commercial wind projects, according to town officials.
Superior Court Justice Andrew Horton says the executive order hasn't stopped any wind projects, but one of the groups behind the suit says it could be challenged if any are blocked.