Library from Maine
The Board of Selectmen voted Monday evening to table finalizing a wind energy ordinance draft to put before voters in June until its March 28 meeting.
The seven local owners of the $26 million Pisgah Mountain LLC wind farm have entered a partnership with a Canadian renewable energy company that helped purchase the five turbines to be installed on the mountain this year, developer Paul Fuller said Monday.
Maine was originally part of Massachusetts, and we act like we are still, but I would admonish Maine residents to rise up and show the wind developers the door. Let them try constructing these useless monstrosities in the Berkshires and see how far they get. I have yet to delineate the total crony corruption that has enabled this industrial wind disaster but here are a few nuggets to chew on.
The legislative committee handling energy policy has recommended the state leave it to regulators and the courts to decide whether affiliates of Maine electric utilities can own power generation within the state.
The state of Maine could see more wind projects developed in the coming years after a number of new proposals have been submitted by southern New England states.
Townships and plantations in Maine have until June to opt out of being an “expedited permitting area” for wind development. Already there are nearly two dozen petitions that have been received ...Another 18 petitions are in circulation.
As communities want to opt out of fast-track wind development, forestland companies want a review. Forest products companies that own land in unorganized and deorganized parts of Maine are challenging petitions by residents of the communities who want to opt out of fast-track commercial wind development.
Chris O’Neil, policy director for Friends of Maine’s Mountains, observes, “Maine and New England already have among the cleanest and most expensive electricity in America. Now southern New England wants to make it even more expensive while turning Maine into their wind plantation. It is unacceptable and we need to stop it.” ...Maine’s greatest resource is our fabulous scenery – mountains, lakes, rivers and ocean coastline. Continuing to ravage our birthright to support a misguided feel-good energy policy is an insult to our own citizens, their children and their grandchildren.
Three Southern New England states want to turn Maine into their wind plantation, and Central Maine Power and Emera Maine appear to be enthusiastic supporters of that plan. ...Maine’s greatest resource is our fabulous scenery – mountains, lakes, rivers and ocean coastline. Continuing to ravage our birthright to support a misguided feel-good energy policy is an insult to our own citizens, their children and their grandchildren.
Energy officials and industry representatives in Maine were tamping down impressions that all or even most of these projects would be built. “I’ve been trying to get the public prepared for this and not think that all of these projects will be developed,” said Patrick Woodcock, Gov. Paul LePage’s energy director. “In fact, under the request-for-proposals, it’s not even possible for all of them to be chosen.”
Dozens of submissions will need to be vetted in coming months as the three states look to sign long-term contracts for electricity from wind turbines, dams and solar projects. The states are seeking up to 600 megawatts of power.
And a wind power project originally proposed for land in Fort Fairfield moved a mile north in its final iteration, on 100 acres of farmland in Limestone. ...but that plan was essentially killed by an ordinance for wind projects that established a one-mile setback from landowners not involved in the project.
An effort to cap electric rates in Maine at 10 cents per kilowatt hour or less likely will go to a vote by the Legislature’s Energy Committee on Tuesday. But the bill, LD 1339, by Senate President Mike Thibodeau, R-Winterport, also calls for the suspension of the state’s renewable energy portfolio requirements if suppliers cannot provide a 10-cent rate while meeting the portfolio requirements.
More than 50 residents attended a public meeting Monday night to share thoughts on the town's wind energy system ordinance and see what interest there might be, if any, in changing it. The meeting was called after selectmen received a letter from a Renewal Energy Systems Americas Inc. representative.
No, thanks, was the overwhelming answer voiced by residents attending a pitch by an energy company to install between 12 and 25 wind turbines along a ridge on the western side of town.
Voters in 2012 passed an ordinance to regulate wind energy systems in Temple that prevents the construction of large, utility-scale projects. Residents authorized a moratorium on wind projects in 2011 while a town committee developed the ordinance. ...Steve Kaiser, a member of the committee that drafted the ordinance, said Friday he thinks RES is testing the waters to see if the town may now be receptive to a commercial wind farm.
State officials received 20 petitions on Monday from residents who oppose fast-tracking permit approvals of industrial wind sites in their portions of Maine’s Unorganized Territory. ...Under the law, residents have until July 1 to submit petitions. The Legislature set the six-month period to allow residents enough time to remove areas from the expedited wind-permitting zones and to limit wind investor uncertainty.
Critics suspect the commission cherry-picked pricing forecasts in favor of natural gas and against wind power. The Maine Public Utilities Commission is refusing to release a set of energy-pricing forecasts that are at the center of allegations that it improperly scuttled a wind power contract.
Opponents of commercial wind farms are gathering signatures to remove their townships and plantations from the vast areas of Maine where proposals receive speedier reviews, setting the stage for more contentious debates over the growing industry. The first petitions may be filed next week by Moosehead Lake region residents.
Under the law, areas in expedited wind-permitting zones can be removed from those zones by petitions signed by at least 10 percent of a given registered zone’s voters in the most recent gubernatorial election.