Library filed under Energy Policy from Maine
Representatives of five transmission projects proposed in July in response to the Massachusetts solicitation for 9.45 TWh/year of hydro and Class I renewables (wind, solar or energy storage) tried to explain why their projects should be among those selected in January. Contracts awarded under the MA 83D request for proposals are to be submitted in late April.
The letter and accompanying resolution — both supported 5-0 — cite the dangers of 500-plus-foot wind turbines and the associated transmission lines they say will forever spoil the “world class beauty” of the region.
Evans-Brown says opponents want to know why their scenery should become the pass-through for Massachusetts' electricity needs, "people who have businesses that would be impacted by the construction, and who believe they're business depends on tourists coming up to visit. There's a very famous pancake parlor that the owner came and gave very impassioned testimony."
A spokesman for a group of island residents behind the bill said the university is responsible for the crisis by changing the scope of the project. What started in 2009 as a scaled-down, temporary experiment has grown to a 20-year, full-scale project with blades that would reach 576 feet above the waterline and an undersea cable to the mainland, at Port Clyde. A project that size, said Travis Dow of Protect Monhegan, can’t help but impact the view for tourists and artists, who drive the island’s summer economy, and the experience for birders, who flock in spring and fall for annual migrations.
Martin’s 2013 examination of MPO, kept secret for three years under a legal exception to the state’s open records act, revealed that the program maintained almost no records, making it impossible for Martin to assess its effectiveness in achieving its public mandate: saving money. “The initial response and continued discussions with the staff at Maine PowerOptions were devoid of any metrics or statistics that would help to gauge the effectiveness of the program,” Martin wrote.
Before New England’s electric industry was restructured in the late 1990s, utilities directly charged customers for the cost of new power plants. But with private developers responsible for power these days, a special market has been put in place that creates a financial incentive to build the next generation of resources.
Pennies on the dollar are what some legislative policies cost the average ratepayer. Most people don’t worry about those pennies, but I am not one of those people. I believe that if you watch your pennies, they add up to dimes and eventually to dollars. Those pennies have added up, resulting in Maine having one of the highest electric rates in the country. The last two bills we worked on this year are classic examples of policies that, although well-intentioned, are costly and will likely do nothing to lower energy costs, never mind decrease our tax burden.
For those inclined to see the glass half full, Massachusetts has made enormous strides in reducing its carbon emissions. Coal-fired plants, the worst offenders, are dying out across the Commonwealth. Investments in energy efficiency have lowered demand. The solar panels sprouting up along the Massachusetts Turnpike are only the most visible of the new generation of green technologies feeding power into homes and businesses.
Backers of gas generation countered that renewables are benefiting from government-backed subsidies and long-term contracts that threaten to reintroduce government-mandated integrated resource planning. ...state policies are giving renewables undue advantage and undermining conventional generators’ investments in the market.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 billions New England wasted in the last decade on unsustainable feel-good generation assets were the same billions that should have been invested in critical, dependable, clean energy infrastructure. Specifically, our natural gas transmission constraints and our lack of access to large-scale Canadian hydro now stand as tragic examples of our grossly negligent misappropriation of resources.
Huskilson told analysts that Emera Maine is working with Central Maine Power Co. on a proposed transmission upgrade that would allow more wind power and other energy to be transported from northern Maine and Canada.