Library from Maine
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.
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.