Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Maine
The State of Maine Board of Environmental Protection denied the application of Passadumkeag WInd Park LLC to construct a 14-turbine, grid-scale, wind energy development. The denial was tied to the impact of the turbines on Scenic Resources of State or National Significance. An brief excerpt of the order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
The Department of Environmental Protection's recommendation Thursday goes to DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho. In reaching its decision, the DEP staff said the proposed windmills would disrupt a "one-of-a-kind" view from Saponac Pond.
The vote to allow King's wind business was a very close one, with people most affected having no vote. There were no local jobs created with the exception of a single management position, and some electricity will be free as long as the project makes money.
The Record Hill wind project consists of 22 Siemens 93 2.3 MW turbines along a four mile ridgeline. Nameplate capacity is 50.6 MW. The view in this video is from less than 2-miles away.
We've spoken clearly. Our state government must defend the will of the people. A foreign corporation must not have greater rights than American citizens. Iberdrola should respect the resolve of the people and abandon its wind development plans for Lexington and Concord townships.
For people living near Burlington, the Passadumkeag Mountain may look like home. But for workers at a Texas energy company, the mountain looks like wind power.
Rollins wind energy facility in the Lincoln Lakes region of Maine. The 60 megawatt project consists uses forty General Electric 1.5-MW turbines
More and more Mainers, who earlier had bought into the simplistic conclusion that wind turbines in Maine are a wonderful "green" solution for our energy needs, are learning that, by and large, Maine is not getting a justifiable economic or energy return from the wind turbines that mar the landscape.
The Maine Land Use Regulatory Commission denied a permit for the 27-turbine (62.1 MW) Bowers Wind Energy facility proposed by Champlain Wind, LLC which is wholly owned by First Wind. The 27-page order denying the permit explains how the impact on scenic resources would be unreasonably adverse. An excerpt of the denial is provided below. The full document can be accessed at the links at the bottom of this page.
Maine's experience with is instructive. While everyone was worried about the "visual" pollution of 450-foot tall white towers sticking up four to five times higher than the surrounding forest, the most invasive aspect of wind turbines has actually been the incessant low frequency "thuds" that come from the blades as they rotate. This has caused issues for the people who live within the sound's radius which, even in forested areas, is significantly further away than the quarter mile setback.
For years environmentalist fought ski areas over putting one lift up to a summit for thousands of skiers and riders to enjoy. Now some of these same environmentalists support desecrating entire ridge lines with heavy-duty roadways and giant wind turbines towering 400 to 450-feet with wing spans greater than a 747. I do not get it. How do these big white erections pass as "green"?
The facts are the facts and the science is very clear - mountaintop industrial wind destroys forests, lays waste to fragile mountaintops, alters mountain hydrology, causes soil erosion and heavy metal leaching, eliminates important wildlife habitat, kills birds and bats, and does NOT reduce carbon emissions. In addition, it destroys the wild, scenic quality and silence of the mountains with flashing red lights and industrial high and low frequency sounds.
The ordinance language currently on the table would allow wind turbines as tall as 160 feet in some areas of the city, namely industrial, airport business and certain recreational open space zones. ...In residential zones in Portland, the windmills are proposed to be capped at 45 feet in height on properties larger than half of an acre where there isn't a pre-existing lower height limitation.
How anyone could ignore something 410 feet high is beyond me. These turbines, however, are far more than visual eyesores: They are permanent scars on our mountainous landscapes.
Guides and sporting camp owners are highly independent, but Bowers Mountain has led them to organize against wind power. Several are expected to testify Monday and Tuesday evening at public hearings in Lincoln before the Land Use Regulation Commission.
First Wind LLC of Boston is going through the LURC permitting process right now to build an industrial wind turbine project that would consist of 27 forty-three story tall turbines overshadowing pristine lakes ...that total over 17,000 surface acres.
"We are working very diligently to bring this issue to the attention of the public. We hate to think that it will take hundreds of wind turbines going up in areas around the state, after it's too late to stop them, for the public to wake up and realize that we are ruining the quality of place in the state of Maine."
Under the tougher standards, Highland Wind will have to prove it will not harm scenery beyond eight miles of the project, where Bigelow Preserve and the Appalachian Trail are. Previously it only had to focus on the area within eight miles of the project.
Holberton said a huge swath of the Maine coastline remains uncharted territory as far as understanding bird migrations ...when visibility is poor, the birds fly at much lower altitudes, under 500 feet. "Most of the birds are island hopping and that is why wind development in shallow water and right along the coast in my opinion poses big issues," said Holberton.
A coaltion that includes professional Maine guides and sporting camp owners has joined an effort to stop a proposed wind farm in eastern Maine. The group also is asking Gov.-elect Paul LePage for a moratorium on large wind projects until cost-benefit studies of existing wind farms can be carried out.