Library filed under Impact on Landscape from Maine
Any future offshore wind development ― including the possible 500-megawatt Maine Aqua Ventus project ― will likely take place in federal waters. But before that can happen, Maine’s biggest investment in offshore wind power must navigate the straits of small-town government in the communities of St. George.
Three state representatives and a senator join local officials in fighting new turbines and transmission lines.
"A couple of months ago there was a meeting held right here where I'd say over 200 fishermen came and voiced their concerns about this project overall and there was not a single voice of support."
At the September 6, 2017 meeting of the Somerset County Maine Commissioners, the Board adopted Resolution 17 – 164 that publicly opposes any additional industrial Wind Development in Somerset County. The agenda for the meeting can be found here. The full resolution, as adopted, is provided below and can be accessed at the links on this page.
Residents said they feared the 500-foot tall turbines would adversely affect the aviation tradition on the lake, culminating every fall with the Greenville Fly-in. “There’s a lot at stake,” McDonald told the group. “The view and the wilderness experience. There’s a future at stake if you want to develop tourism in the area, the turbines pose a serious threat to the region.”
A group that fears that more industrial wind development in rural Somerset County will hurt the economy and quality of life for area residents.
In 1819, Maine separated from Massachusetts and became its own entity. We have gotten along just fine for the past 200 years. But Massachusetts wants to use us as its industrial power center by running power lines and putting up industrial wind turbines in our mountains.
Energy committee members unanimously vote against a bill that would have moved the test site at least 7 miles farther out to sea.
Maine Aqua Ventus representatives testified that the bill would have the practical effect of ending Maine’s bid to build the country’s first commercial-size, floating wind turbines and jump-start an industry ...But representatives of the Maine Lobstering Union, which represents 500 fishermen, said wind power has no place on the Maine coast. If the industry takes off, undersea cables and moorings associated with offshore wind farms would destroy valuable lobster habitat and imperil fishing.
Maine’s floating wind power advocates are sounding the alarm over legislation that would push a two-turbine test site farther away from Monhegan Island, saying that the shift would sink the decade-long push to draw power from the untapped Gulf of Maine winds.
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.
Massachusetts on Friday issued a massive request for clean power proposals that could help the state meet its goal of reducing its electrical system’s impact on global warming. By 2020, the state aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation to 25 percent below 1990 levels. The long-expected solicitation has wind opponents in Maine again gearing up for a fight, as Maine is host to the vast majority of pending land-based wind power projects in New England.
A total of 39 Unorganized Territory communities from western Maine to Down East have taken back the ability to nix wind power projects they don’t like. ...Backlash against the loss of zoning review by the Land Use Planning Commission prompted a 2015 law allowing communities to restore that regional authority over wind projects.
Legislation proposed by Maine Sen. Dana Dow, R-Waldoboro, to prohibit The New England Aqua Ventus 1 project from building two 6-megawatt wind turbines two-and-a-half miles off Monhegan Island could kill the University of Maine-led effort. For now, it is now one of only two projects still in the running for Department of Energy funding.
Maine people would never allow a massive wind turbine experiment to be placed two miles from the top of Mount Katahdin or just off the shores of Acadia National Park. These are special, almost sacred places. So is Monhegan, which is why this experiment must be moved.
“We felt it was important to get it out there and let everyone know that there could be some serious problems if SunEdison goes bankrupt,” Richard McDonald, a member of the steering committee for the Moosehead Region Futures Committee, said Thursday. ...Withdrawing from the zone isn’t a guarantee that a wind project won’t or can’t be built, but it makes it more difficult to get them approved, said McDonald.
The Land Use Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the petitions submitted by Moosehead residents that remove 10 townships of the region's Unorganized Territories (UTs) from the expedited wind permitting area.
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.
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.
In this nine-minute video, winner of the 2015 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, videographer Roger Smith presents the viewpoints of the local proponents and opponents of the $100 million project.