Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Maine
Residents of the town of St. George, which includes the villages of Tenants Harbor and Port Clyde, submitted a petition with more than 300 signatures at the town office and voice their opposition to plans by Maine Aqua Ventus to build a wind farm near Monhegan Island and bring the cable from the turbines onto shore in St. George.
A DEP staff analysis of the project raised concerns about the proposed wind farm’s potential impact on bats and migratory birds, citing a study by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife that found the mortality risk to birds was the highest recorded for any project in northern New England.
“DIF&W believes the proposed project poses an undue risk of mortality to birds, particularly songbirds, during spring migration. Given the Bull Hill Project is already operational and that the Hancock Wind Project is permitted, MDIF&W believes that the proposed Weaver Wind Project will represent significant adverse cumulative impact to migrating birds, and recommends denial of the Weaver Wind Project.”
Tisdale told Courthouse News that the Soitec project's location is one of its most troubling aspects. It is slated for a rural, high fire-risk area that is groundwater-dependent and not zoned for industrial use, she said. It is also near the McCain Valley Resource Conservation Area.
And now with Maine’s southern neighbors halting industrial wind in their states, they’re paying to build thousands of turbines in Maine, to devastate every magnificent Maine ridge, pinnacle and mountain with howling machines more than 50 stories high, some so tall they’ll be the third-tallest structures in New England.
Two environmental groups are going head to head over the impact on wildlife and the future benefits of wind energy development in Maine. Friends of Maine’s Mountains challenged Maine Audubon on Thursday to retract a recent report that says wind energy is sometimes compatible with wildlife, and to acknowledge funding it receives from the wind power industry.
It is troubling that, although the report is replete with disclaimers and acknowledged weakness by the authors themselves regarding the types of information that went into the work and the limitations of any conclusions stemming from it, it has been confidently presented to the public as a tool that would reliably serve as guidelines for siting land-based wind energy development. I'm not aware that during any stage of the project's development that any effort was made by MAS to bring in biologists from academia, as well as state and federal wildlife agencies for input.
As part of the wind project, 59 miles of transmission lines would run from the Oakfield area, through various towns, to a grid hook-up in Chester, in Penobscot County. "And they are crossing numerous water bodies," Williams says. "All those crossings require both temporary and permanent fill." Filling in those waterways, Williams argues, would harm water quality and endanger Atlantic salmon and Bald Eagles.
In January, the wildlife service updated its bat mortality estimate, claiming that at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats have been lost to white nose syndrome, prompting agency director Daniel Ashe to call it an "unprecedented wildlife crisis."
The Bicknell's thrush - a medium-sized migrating songbird - has cleared the first stage of a long route that could lead to it being declared a threatened or endangered species, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday.
"Wind developers and wildlife managers in both the U.S. and Europe have called for the collection of pre-construction monitoring data to minimize the potential impacts of facilities on wildlife," says Kate Williams, director of BRI's wildlife and renewable energy program. "This can be a hot-button issue, but BRI's main goal is to provide sound scientific data to decision makers.
First Wind LLC of Boston is going through the LURC permitting process right now to build an industrial wind turbine project that would consist of 27 forty-three story tall turbines overshadowing pristine lakes ...that total over 17,000 surface acres.
A recently released study that concluded fewer than 10 birds die yearly from the three wind turbines on this Maine island paints too rosey a picture, according to biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ...The study was shoddily done, the letter implies.
The presence of the furry creature and two-tailed invertebrate, among other forms of wildlife, are threatening to topple a proposed industrial-scale wind energy project in Highland Plantation. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife recently expressed its concern for the planned wind farm's impact on certain species.
Holberton said a huge swath of the Maine coastline remains uncharted territory as far as understanding bird migrations ...when visibility is poor, the birds fly at much lower altitudes, under 500 feet. "Most of the birds are island hopping and that is why wind development in shallow water and right along the coast in my opinion poses big issues," said Holberton.
Scientists from the BioDiversity Research Institute in Gorham have documented what they say is a significant migratory pathway for several species of falcons and northern saw-whet owls. The new study could have a bearing on where and how off-shore wind projects are sited in the future.
Haven't we learned anything from Mars Hill and Vinalhaven about sound and human impacts? What kind of energy is really going to be produced to mitigate the impacts stated above? The applicant offered to put 1,000 acres into conservation. The 1,000 acres just happens to surround the turbines and roads. Gee, thanks. Concerns about this project need to be expressed to the DEP soon.
If the 1,800 turbines were constructed, as much as 50,000 acres of carbon-sequestering forest would have to be clear-cut. In addition, the turbines require electricity to run, which does not come from the turbines and must be generated on site by diesel generators or brought in on separate power lines. One study done in Colorado actually determined that wind power increased carbon emissions by 10 percent.
As an environmentalist, I have for decades supported a move away from our addiction to oil to more eco-friendly, renewable energy, including wind. However, when I hear the developers spin the tragic Gulf oil spill to justify their desire to use our tax dollars to destroy Maine mountaintops, with as many as 1,800 400-foot turbines spread over 360 miles, I am appalled by how this "justification" is so disingenuous.
Researchers have begun the first electronic tracking studies ever done in Maine to determine whether migrating birds might be disturbed by floating wind turbines off the coast. They've implanted satellite transmitters inside four common eiders in Casco Bay and are keeping tabs on their movements.