TransCanada has not yet formally asked the county to consider a state-sponsored tax break program for its $270 million wind farm project near the Canadian border. But on Tuesday, an outside consultant urged county commissioners to take the initiative and pursue the program since capturing the new tax revenue will benefit the county. Franklin County, in conjunction with TransCanada, could take the lead and set up a Tax Increment Financing District to capture all or part of the new property and business equipment tax generated by the wind farm in Kibby and Skinner Townships, said Greg Mitchell of Eaton Peabody Consulting Group LLC of Augusta.
Articles filed under Taxes & Subsidies from Maine
Washington County officials have given a boost to a power project planned for northern Washington County and set a milestone in Maine by becoming the first county in the state to establish a tax increment financing district in the Unorganized Territory. By approving the TIF district for the Evergreen Wind Power project on remote Stetson Mountain, the Washington County commissioners will get to keep approximately $3.8 million of the $9.4 million in tax revenue generated by the project over the next 20 years. The county will use its share of the taxes for other economic development projects in Washington County and return the remaining $5.6 million to Evergreen for reinvestment in the project.
Boston utility NStar's plan to let customers buy wind-generated electricity is running into a gale of opposition from a rival "green power" provider, who said yesterday NStar's program would violate state law. Although Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Conservation Law Foundation, a Boston legal-environmental group, are backing the NStar plan, Larry Chretien, executive director of the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, said it violates the 1997 state utility restructuring law. That law, Chretien said, limits utilities to being "distribution companies" that deliver power that customers buy through the utility from independent third-party energy producers and means NStar can't legally become the supplier of power through contracts with wind farms in upstate New York and Maine. NStar plans to begin offering wind power by Jan. 1, pending state approval.
The Boston utility NStar plans to allow its residential and small business customers to buy their electricity from environmentally friendly wind farms - for a price. In a first of its kind for Massachusetts utilities, NStar is proposing to let its 1.1 million electric customers in Boston and 80 eastern Massachusetts cities and towns buy their power directly from a wind farm in upstate New York and a second under development in Maine. Because the wind farms are more expensive than conventional sources like coal and nuclear power, a typical homeowner would pay a premium of about $7.50 to $15 monthly. The program, being announced today, will need approval from state utility regulators before it is launched, which could be as soon as Jan. 1.
Wind is the least cost effective way to produce power. But all the tax credits make if very profitable. That is the only reason to build wind plants. A project like Redington Black Nubble would mean about $20 million in tax credits over the 10-year period allowed by the production tax legislation. That's not counting what they sell the power for. It's all about the money. It isn't some environmental company here to save us. As far as the Land Use Regulation Commission's denial of the Redington Project, the project did not meet the standards and laws. It's that simple. And we better watch out. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Keep our mountains protected.
Reeling a bit from the news their new school won’t be ready until the fall of 2009, SAD 3 board members also received some good news Monday night. Supt. Barbara Mosseau said Steve Cole of Coastal Enterprises Inc. has informed her the district is receiving a $60,000 grant from the Cox Trust. The money will be used to assist the district in determining whether wind power will be feasible in the energy mix at the new school. The district is already eyeing a wood chip boiler and board members think a windmill would be a good addition as well.