Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Maine
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.
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.
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.
People opposed to the sacrifice of Maine's landscape have the deck stacked against them. Laws in place prevent citizens from challenging the economic and environmental assumptions used to justify wind power. The cumulative effects of multiple wind projects are ignored by the agencies responsible for protecting our environment and wildlife habitats. How did this happen?
That natural treasure, which we voted to protect one generation ago, is once again in jeopardy. Once again the citizens of Maine need to let their voices be heard, and once again step forward and say "no" to a proposal to place a massive industrial wind complex on the very doorstep, and just a few short miles from the southeast corner of the Bigelow Preserve.
As construction valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars unfolds, the industry faces legal and regulatory challenges even as it struggles to gain new financing in a post-recessionary climate where investors are cautious. Perhaps nowhere are the stakes higher, or the positions more complex, than for the state's major environmental groups.
Currently, there are three industrial wind projects being planning between Mayfield Plantation and Sisk Mountain in Chain of Ponds Township. Those projects, along with the constructed Kibby project, would result in a combined total of at least 200 industrial wind turbines that would cover about 23 miles of mountaintops. ...Iindustrial wind development has a long reach when it comes to visual effect.
They looked like a line of alien invaders marching across the face of the earth. I believe I counted 31 of them using my binoculars, with several more showing just their blades cutting in the back drop. I thought how horrible they looked.
I wondered how Maine reached this precipice, where developers and politicians permanently scar beautiful Maine landscapes. It seemed a strange twist for a state that once had prided itself on financially sound, aesthetically pleasing development, and even outlawed billboards decades ago.
"It's great to see the mountains before they put the damn windmills up." About 100 turbines in six separate projects are in various stages of planning in the six towns, with all but Rumford's and Roxbury's proposed by Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass. Rumford's project is proposed by First Wind LLC of Boston, and Roxbury's by Independent Wind LLC.