Articles filed under General from Maine
Renewable energy developer SunEdison has decided not to seek a long-term contract with Maine utilities for its Weaver Wind project, following the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s reconsideration of the terms of a 25-year power purchasing agreement. The company withdrew its project from consideration in a filing Monday.
Selectman Duane Vigue said the moratorium is being proposed to allow the planning board time to conduct research since the town has no standards for reviewing a solar panel farm. He said the project would be located in the middle of the historic district of town and the town wants to make sure it does not hurt the neighbors.
David Littell, the only member of the Public Utilities Commission who regularly disagrees with Gov. Paul LePage, says he will work on at least three major cases. The lone commissioner at the Maine Public Utilities Commission who has been at odds with the energy policies of Gov. Paul LePage says he’s going to remain on the job after his term expires on March 31.
The application also states that the site is located within the Moosehead Conservation Easement where “studies of wind speed, wind direction and other meteorological data is considered a specified land use to which Plum Creek has the right to undertake on the property.”
The group Friends of Maine Mountains has withdrawn its challenge to a permit for a 56-turbine SunEdison wind power project, clearing the way for the western Maine development to move ahead.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday to take a second look at the terms of two long-term wind purchasing deals the three-person commission approved in December. The makeup of the commission has changed since the December approval, with Carlisle McLean joining the panel in place of former chairman Tom Welch, who retired early at the end of 2014.
Of the $1.87 million, $1.12 million would be in the form of annual payments of $56,000 ($4,000 for each turbine) over 20 years. That much is mandated by state law, which says wind developers must compensate host communities such as Osborn. Of the remaining $750,000, one-third of it would come in a lump sum payment that the town would be required to use for public safety costs. The other $500,000 would be a second lump sum payment for an energy conservation fund.
The Board of Environmental Protection, an appointed citizen oversight panel, will consider the Bingham Wind permit appeal at a March 5 meeting and hear oral arguments before taking up a draft order that would uphold the permit for the 62-turbine wind farm.
In a Feb. 18 order, the commission called for comments on whether the deals should be reconsidered in response to natural gas price forecasts from the benchmark Henry Hub, which now estimates that natural gas prices will be 20 percent lower than the prices the PUC used in its analysis of the wind power contracts.
Karen Bessey Pease of Maine attended an open house event sponsored by wind developer, Iberdrola. The purpose of the open house was to speak to the community about a proposed wind project Iberdrola plans to construct. Ms. Pease offers thoughtful insights about the event.
In 2013, the Fletcher Mountain project was awarded a 15-year power purchase agreement with a group of four Massachusetts utilities. However, Iberdrola cancelled the contract after failing to receive corporate approval, according to a regulatory filing.
I applauded your recent editorial concerning the leveling of playing fields concerning the wind power industry. It basically stated everything we, the residents of North Orland, have long been saying. There are copious amounts of money being proffered to any community willing to have them. Ask any selectmen if they have it in writing about the amount mentioned by the various mailings sent by the company wishing to erect the turbines. I refer to it as the “shiny sparkly” (a quote from “The Secret of Nimh”) in which the crow is dazzled by the sparkly object and easily dissuaded from the subject at hand.
Plans to build a major wind project in the western Maine mountains could again test the legal separation between power generators and distribution utilities, a bedrock rule in deregulation of the state’s electric industry 15 years ago. The project is being proposed by Iberdrola Renewables, a subsidiary of Central Maine Power’s parent company. ...Although the layout is still being refined, plans call for up to 33 turbines reaching 500 feet high.
The companies need regulatory approval for the transaction as a 2000 change in state law required power companies, such as CMP and Bangor Hydro Electric Co. (now Emera Maine), to divest of all power generation. That opened a competitive marketplace for power generators, and the regulatory process aims to make sure all generators are treated the same by power companies.
Cassida did, however, later say that First Wind intends to file the necessary paperwork for Weaver Wind before the end of 2014. Under the company’s tentative timeline, the project would receive its needed permits and other approvals next year, with construction starting in 2016 and the wind farm beginning operation in 2017.
Developer Paul Fuller says in a recent trip to Pisgah Mountain, he discovered someone released the cables holding wind gauge equipment in place.
Officials from the company that wants to build a 62-turbine wind farm in northern Somerset County say the planned sale of the company should not affect the project. A spokesman for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection said Thursday that it’s too soon to tell.
SunEdison’s plan to buy wind developer First Wind for $2.4 billion would place its Maine wind projects in the portfolio of the world’s largest renewable energy company.
“This transaction is essentially an unwinding of our original transaction with First Wind as they pursue a new direction and we seek to redeploy our capital in higher value assets and opportunities in other clean energy infrastructure investments, including electricity transmission and natural gas electricity generation in the Northeast,” said Chris Huskilson, Emera’s president, in a news release Monday.
Two weeks after residents narrowly rejected an amended Wind Energy Facility Ordinance at the polls Nov. 4, a petition has been filed requesting a recount, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Friday. The ordinance was rejected by five votes, 557-562.