Library from Maine
A total of 39 Unorganized Territory communities from western Maine to Down East have taken back the ability to nix wind power projects they don’t like. ...Backlash against the loss of zoning review by the Land Use Planning Commission prompted a 2015 law allowing communities to restore that regional authority over wind projects.
Fishermen worry about how close they’ll be able to get to the turbines without entering restricted space, and also want to avoid getting traps stuck on underwater wires and moorings. Those boundaries likely will be set by the U.S. Coast Guard much later in the planning process.
Legislation proposed by Maine Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, to prohibit The New England Aqua Ventus 1 project from building two 6-megawatt wind turbines two-and-a-half miles off Monhegan Island could kill the University of Maine-led effort. For now, it is now one of only two projects still in the running for Department of Energy funding.
Martin’s 2013 examination of MPO, kept secret for three years under a legal exception to the state’s open records act, revealed that the program maintained almost no records, making it impossible for Martin to assess its effectiveness in achieving its public mandate: saving money. “The initial response and continued discussions with the staff at Maine PowerOptions were devoid of any metrics or statistics that would help to gauge the effectiveness of the program,” Martin wrote.
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.
Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, has compiled figures to show transmission rates in the region already are five times higher than they were in 2005. During that period, he said, wholesale electric rates have fallen by 48 percent. That drop is tied to the lower cost of natural gas, which is used to generate half the power supplied by members in Dolan’s association.
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.
Maine people would never allow a massive wind turbine experiment to be placed two miles from the top of Mount Katahdin or just off the shores of Acadia National Park. These are special, almost sacred places. So is Monhegan, which is why this experiment must be moved.
“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 2011 contract required the wind power companies to act in good faith to finalize the sale to the cooperative of a 12.54-mile section of transmission line connecting two wind farms ...The parties had agreed that the three wind farms would pay for costs, including repairs and upgrades to the line, which is standard in the industry, the release said. The final contract was never signed.
PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s top court struck down a joint venture among Emera Maine’s parent company and two power generators in a ruling Thursday that leaves open many questions about financial relationships between companies that supply power and those that transmit and distribute it.
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.
Franklin County commissioners unanimously approved amending the county’s tax increment financing agreement with TransCanada Maine Wind Development to capture more tax money that can be used for economic development within the Unorganized Territory.
“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 Planning Board received an extension to develop a wind energy facility ordinance for the town Tuesday night.
As committee President John Willard, owner of the Birches Resort in Rockwood, has said, if industrial wind development prevails unencumbered, the turbines sitting atop our blasted and bulldozed mountains will turn America’s Crown Jewel into nothing more than a “crown of thorns.”
Maine’s quest to become a leader in wind power – producing enough megawatts to light up more than a million homes – has gotten pushback from rural residents who say they want a greater voice in proposals that now bypass them and go directly to the state for review.