Library from Maine
The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted Monday evening to table a vote on whether to place the amended Wind Energy Facility Ordinance on the annual town meeting warrant next June. ...At its last meeting, the Planning Board voted 3-2 against recommending the amended ordinance, Davis said.
Bristol residents opposing the project have cited concerns about the negative effects the cable could have on fisheries and shrimp draggers, concerns for the safety of birds and fears that the turbines could impact their ocean views.
The Bristol Wind Power Advisory Committee is preparing a contingency plan as conversations about a polarizing offshore-wind project resurfaced in the last month. The University of Maine-led Maine Aqua Ventus I project would consist of two floating wind turbines off the coast of Monhegan Island and south of Bristol.
At issue was whether the turbines would impinge on the scenic views from nine nearby lakes. Regulators had to weigh two competing aspects of state law: a developer’s right to build a wind farm in a designated zone, and the public’s right to enjoy views unmarred by turbine blades.
The Court upheld the Board of Environmental Protection's (BEP's) conclusion that the project's sixteen turbines would have "an unreasonable adverse effect on the scenic character and existing uses related to the scenic character” of nine of the lakes which the State recognizes as "Scenic Resources of State or National Significance".
The Town of Freedom in Maine adopted this Wind Energy Ordinance requiring setbacks of 13 times the turbine height for three larger classes of windmills, which can represent a distance up to 1-mile. The ordinance limits nighttime noise emissions to 35 dB(A) and shadow flicker to no more than 10-hours per year on properties that are not participating with the the wind project. Portions of the ordinance are provided below. The full ordinance can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
Companies designing projects to bring clean electricity to southern New England say they’re grateful Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have finally made a request for proposals to carry that power to the region. But meeting the region’s longer-term goal of expanding the use of renewable electricity from wind, solar and hydroelectricity will require more transmission capacity than the states requested, said Edward Krapels, the CEO of Anbaric Transmission, which is proposing one project in Maine and another Vermont.
By a vote of 32-6, voters passed an exhaustive set of rules for wind turbines Nov. 17 including setbacks that would have blocked the three-turbine wind farm on Beaver Ridge had they existed in 2008. The 40-page Town of Freedom Wind Energy Ordinance notably requires setbacks of 13 times the turbine height for three larger classes of windmills, which translates to close to a mile for a 400-foot industrial wind turbine.
The Board of Selectmen is expected to decide Dec. 14 how to proceed with bringing a Wind Energy Facility Ordinance to voters next June, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Tuesday. It would be the fourth time in over three years that residents have cast ballots on the measure to regulate wind power development.
A global energy company that abandoned plans two years ago to build a $120 million demonstration wind farm off the Maine coast following opposition from Gov. Paul LePage is moving ahead with a similar project in Scotland.
The production tax credit has rarely been considered in the House or Senate as a stand-alone vote. The last time was 2012, in New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez’s amendment to the transportation bill. It failed. If the Senate and House consider the wind production tax credit in the eleventh hour (again) this year, it must be as a stand-alone vote in each chamber. That way, the wind lobby cannot gain a free ride by attaching to the more beneficial tax credits seen as “must pass.”
McDonald said he will continue to pursue the information request because it raises a larger constitutional question around free speech. He is taking Plum Creek at its word, but said the company should have contacted his group, rather than the MDOT, about the sign near its office. He characterized that placement as a mistake. “We just wanted to know where the removal order came from.”
Washington -- Aggressive energy efficiency efforts and new distributed generation capacity -- virtually all of it in the form of solar projects -- are combining to put a lid on growth in peak demand and electric use in New England, ISO New England said in its newly released 2015 Regional System Plan.
Tension between the merits of wind power and its visual impacts is a familiar theme in rural Maine, but recent interest by two energy companies to test the potential for wind farms in the Moosehead Lake region has put a sharper edge on the debate here. That’s because Moosehead, a historic outdoor recreation mecca that has seen better days economically, is in the midst of a makeover.
As many as 50 signs protesting wind projects by SunEdison and Everpower were removed by Maine Department of Transportation employees Friday, angering supporters of the Moosehead Region Futures Committee, which opposes the projects ...A transportation department official says the signs in Greenville and Rockwood – which read “Save Moosehead Say No to Wind” – violated state rules.
We’ve been warned by other wind groups to expect this type of backlash. I guess your First Amendment rights are forfeited when you fight a wind project. MRFC is about protecting our quality of place and our tourism industry - it’s the economic backbone of this region.” DOT personnel said they got orders from Augusta to take down the signs.
New England’s most populous states are looking to tap Canadian dams and rivers for more of their electricity, a change that officials say would help cut greenhouse-gas emissions and help keep some of the nation’s highest power prices in check.
An opposition group's settlements with developers divide the resistance to wind-power projects in Maine. A$2.75 million settlement announced last month between Friends of Maine’s Mountains and SunEdison involving New England’s largest wind farm, near Bingham, has exposed a deep rift in the state’s wind-power resistance movement. The dispute offers a glimpse into an internal conflict that’s spilling over into the ongoing public debate about the benefits and harms of erecting giant turbine towers along Maine’s remote ridges.
Maybe, just maybe, some Mainers are becoming less inclined to fall in line and accept the state’s excessively generous standards for wind development. The Fort Fairfield Town Council recently approved a wind ordinance requiring turbine siting of one mile from property lines of non-participating property owners, rather than acceding to the state model — written by the wind industry — requiring setback of only 150 percent of the height of the turbine.
The Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 Monday to have Belfast lawyer Kristen Collins draft language on sound limits for the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance. At its Aug. 25 meeting, the board voted to accept a citizens' petition requesting the ordinance include the complete Maine Department of Environmental Protection sound level limits, which are 42 decibels for nighttime and 55 decibels for daytime.