Articles from Maine
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The site is secure around the wind turbine that caught fire last Sunday night on the University of Maine Presque Isle campus.
According to UMPI President Ray Rice, the generator of the wind turbine caught fire around 10:45 last night. Rice said that produced an electrical surge which caused a good portion of the University to lose power.
“It appears that the turbine generator caught on fire and the overload from it subsequently tripped the campus breakers,” Rice said in a statement. “This caused most of campus to lose power."
A decadelong effort to establish an offshore wind energy industry in Maine is at a turning point, its future hinging on whether state utility regulators vote to reopen a power contract to test a patented technology for deep-water floating wind farms.
FERC approved ISO-NE’s two-stage capacity auction to accommodate state renewable energy procurements, with Commissioner Robert Powelson dissenting and Commissioners Cheryl LaFleur and Richard Glick leveling new criticism on the minimum offer price rule (MOPR) (ER18-619).
LD 1810 would shrink the area where wind developments are eligible for Maine’s abbreviated permitting process and ramp up requirements for projects that would still qualify. Following a series of procedural motions and votes Thursday in the House of Representatives, the bill is in danger of dying because of a disagreement with the Senate over which legislative committee should handle the bill.
New England’s power grid is in good shape now and home solar and energy efficiency efforts mean the region’s annual demand for electricity is projected to decline, according to the grid’s operators. But there are also problems ahead.
LePage’s spokeswoman said her office cannot comment on pending litigation. But in announcing the executive order last month, the governor said steps were necessary to protect Maine’s scenic beauty from “out-of-state interests … eager to exploit our western mountains in order to serve their political agendas.”
The lawsuit from the Conservation Law Foundation, which was filed in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland, asks the court to strike down the order as unconstitutional, saying it violated provisions granting separate powers to Maine’s executive and legislative branches.
Gov. Paul LePage wants to eliminate Maine’s fast-tracked permitting process for commercial wind power projects throughout the state except specific locations within Aroostook County.
The town ordinance limits decibel levels from routine operation of wind turbines to 55 in the daytime and 42 at night at non-participating property lines ...The Ordinance Review Committee has recommended decibel limits of 35 maximum for daytime and 25 maximum at night. The panel also voted to limit tower heights to 250 feet and establish setbacks of 1 mile per 100 feet of tower height.
Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday placed a moratorium on permits for most new wind turbines in Maine, a move that could reverberate regionally a day before Massachusetts is set to announce winners in a massive clean power procurement plan.
Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday placed a moratorium on permits for new wind energy generation facilities. He also said he will submit legislation this year that would eliminate an expedited permitting process that is currently in law.
Maine Aqua Ventus has identified 11 other possible routes, and the top two options are being evaluated, Ward said. However, details of those top routes are not yet ready to be disclosed, he said. “We continue to work with fishermen, communities and regulators to find an optimum cable route,” Ward said.
Long-running efforts to secure a power contract for the first floating wind farm in the United States suffered a setback Tuesday when the Public Utilities Commission decided to delay its approval. Without a long-term power contract, the experimental project off Maine’s coast near Monhegan Island is in danger of losing future federal funding, making it extremely difficult to finance the project.
The Land Use Planning Commission voted against adding approximately 25,000 acres to the expedited permitting area for wind power in northern Franklin and Somerset County at its meeting Tuesday. The expansion would have helped facilitate the development of a 130-plus turbine project proposed by a renewable energy company.
A Maine planning commission will consider a rule-making petition Wednesday that requests expansion of the expedited permitting area for wind energy development by nearly 25,000 acres in northern Franklin and Somerset counties.
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.
Four area members of the Legislature have joined county commissioners in Somerset and Piscataquis counties in opposition to proposed industrial wind projects in the Moosehead Lake region as a threat to the area’s tourism-dependent economy.