Library filed under General from Maine
In 2008, Governor John Baldacci worked with a very cooperative Legislature to craft a special zoning and permitting process that significantly aided developers seeking to capitalize on Maine’s rural resources for large-scale wind power projects.
Dozens of sparsely populated areas across Maine have won special protections that could pose a hurdle to companies looking to build wind power turbines in some of the state’s windiest areas.
EDP Renewables says the need to build new transmission lines and the loss of a power-purchase agreement with utilities in Connecticut contributed to the company's decision to withdraw its application.
“In July, I informed council that we had to implement the safety shutoff due to its need for repair,” City Administrator Kevin Sutherland wrote in a memo. ...“This turbine has never performed as expected.”
The RTO’s filing said five renewable energy projects in northern Maine, a landfill gas facility, a wind farm and three hydropower projects, totaling more than 22 MW, were disqualified because of insufficient transmission capacity. The Orrington interface in eastern Maine, critical to unlocking wind energy potential from the northeastern areas of the state, is the subject of a study now underway by ISO-NE planners. (See ISO-NE Planning Advisory Committee Briefs.)
The projects have a nameplate capacity of 461.2 megawatts, but they will produce less power than that because the facilities typically operate at less than 35 percent of capacity. Approximately 306.4 megawatts come from solar projects and 154.8 megawatts from wind.
Ambitious plans to build wind farms in northern and western Maine representing billions of dollars of investment were dealt a blow on Tuesday, after a coalition of utilities and state agencies in southern New England failed to select any Maine-based wind or transmission projects to meet the region’s clean-energy goals.
“Unless these projects win overpriced, mandated government contracts, the market cannot support them,” said Chris O’Neil, a spokesman for Friends of Maine’s Mountains. “They’re taking a risk that they are purchasing a performing asset. It may or may not happen.”
The renewable energy giant SunEdison has asked a bankruptcy judge to approve its sale of various wind projects, including a proposal near Moosehead Lake that has generated local opposition.
With giant wind developer SunEdison now bankrupt and struggling to reorganize, several Maine wind energy projects continue to move forward under new management. It appears, according to filings in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York, that before its voluntary bankruptcy declaration in April, SunEdison sold Maine wind farms in Bingham and Oakfield and the Bull Hill project in Township 16 to Terra Nova Renewable Partners, owned by SunE Utility and Novatus Energy. SunEdison also had withdrawn, at least temporarily, an application to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for the Weaver Wind project — a 22-tubine proposal in the Hancock County towns of Osborn and Eastbrook. But another SunEdison and Novatus project — the 17-turbine, 56-megawatt Hancock Wind farm in Townships 16 and 22 — remains under construction. And according to contractor Reed & Reed, the project, when completed, will boast the largest turbines in the Americas with towers of 382 feet and turbine rotor diameters of 384 feet.
The Atlanta-based energy company Southern Co. has purchased the Passadumkeag Wind project in Grand Falls Township for about $127 million.
There appeared to be multiple controversies on simmer at the same time regarding a possible wind power project in Milton Township that was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Oxford County Commissioners.
Pattern has agreed to buy rights to SunEdison’s proposed King Pine wind project for about $26.5 million, conditioned upon the project winning a supply contract from a group of southern New England states that solicited clean energy proposals in February.
The San Francisco-based wind energy investors Pattern Energy Group Inc. has reached a deal with the now-bankrupt SunEdison to buy development rights for what would be the state’s single-largest wind farm, located in southern Aroostook County.
“If Weyerhaeuser is pulling the plug on the Misery Ridge project, it’s a great day for the Moosehead region. ...Avoiding this disaster will allow us to redirect or energy and our resources to growing our economy and promoting the richness and world-class natural beauty that makes this region outstanding,”
Chris O'Neil is policy director of Friends of Maine's Mountains, sees the New England Clean Energy RFP as a bid by southern New England to "turn Maine into their wind plantation." "If these wind projects are the 'heist' then the transmission project is the 'getaway car,'" he says. ... wind power "as an extravagant waste of money" that isn't worth "ruining the hills and mountains" of Maine.
If SunEdison goes bankrupt, the company and industry experts say it won’t mean much for the wind developer’s existing projects, but it raises questions about the fate of other wind farms SunEdison has in the works.
The Austrian energy company, WEB Windenergie, is buying a locally owned Maine industrial wind company, Pisgah LLC. The company hopes to access a guaranteed 20-year Emera Maine contract for selling energy at 9.3 cents per kilowatt-hour. ...the problem is that the fat contract is only available through a state program open to local Maine companies.
TerraForm Global said SunEdison claimed the money would be used to finish nearly completed renewable energy projects in India. In return, TerraForm Global would receive SunEdison’s equity interests in the deals ...“SunEdison instead diverted the funds to prop up its flagging liquidity position rather than to fund the projects in India as promised,” said the lawsuit.
The Board of Selectmen voted 3-2 Monday evening to place an amended wind energy facility ordinance before voters June 14.