Documents from Maine
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.
The Maine Tourism Association provided this testimony in support of Maine bill LD 901, a bill that calls for a I5-mile buffer zone and visual impact assessment on expedited wind energy development in order to protect some of the most popular tourist desitinations in the State. Maine tourism supports 16% of the state's employment and brings in $8.8 billion in total sales annually.
The town of Buckfield Maine adopted a wind ordinance that established a setback distance of 1 mile between a wind turbine and the property line of an adjacent property. Noise was limited to no more than 3 dba above the preconstruction sound levels. To access the ordinance, select the link on this page.
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.
This paper by Alun Evans, Professor Emeritus Belfast University provides an easy to read synopsis of our current understanding of wind turbine noise and its impact on human health. An excerpt of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be accessed by clicking the link(s) on this page.
A Maine Superior Court judge has found in favor of wind turbine neighbors (Fox Island Wind Neighbors) complaining about excessive noise from three nearby 1.5 megawatt GE wind turbines. This is believed to be the first court case where a state judge has found against a state agency charged with enforcement; the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The judge’s decision follows the key claim of the plaintiffs who proved that FIW (Fox Islands Wind) was not complying with the State’s noise limits and that the DEP failed to enforce against the turbine operator or to require compliance. An excerpt of the ruling is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Maine PUC erred in approving a merger between wind developer, First Wind, and the utility Emera which owns generation assets in the State. This order vacates the PUC ruling from three years ago. The order can be accessed by clicking the links on this page. A portion of the Court's order can be found below.
Dr. Michael Nissenbaum, who conducted extensive research into the effects of of audible wind turbine noise on sleep disturbance, has written a paper that explains his findings to other medical professionals who are unaware of the issue. The summary of his paper appears on this page. The complete document can be accessed by clicking on the link on this page.
This draft decision prepared by the Staff for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection details why the Bowers Mountain Wind Park should be denied. The project consisted of 16 Vestas or Siemens 3.0 megawatt turbines (48 MWs in total). Following extensive hearings on the project the Department found the project would create an unreasonable adverse effect on the scenic character and existing uses related to scenic character in the area surrounding the project. The full draft order can be accessed by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
In this important ruling by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, the court found that a proposed wind project that was accepted for review by the State prior to more restrictive nighttime sound emissions limits being adopted, would still be subject to the new sound limits. The full ruling can be accessed at the link below.
The State of Maine Board of Environmental Protection denied the application of Passadumkeag WInd Park LLC to construct a 14-turbine, grid-scale, wind energy development. The denial was tied to the impact of the turbines on Scenic Resources of State or National Significance. An brief excerpt of the order is provided below. The full order can be accessed by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
This important paper published in Noise & Health, a bi-monthly Inter-disciplinary International Journal, examines the health impacts of wind turbine noise on individuals living nearby. The abstract and conclusion of the paper appear below. The full paper can be accessed at the link at the bottom of this page.
The Maine Land Use Regulatory Commission denied a permit for the 27-turbine (62.1 MW) Bowers Wind Energy facility proposed by Champlain Wind, LLC which is wholly owned by First Wind. The 27-page order denying the permit explains how the impact on scenic resources would be unreasonably adverse. An excerpt of the denial is provided below. The full document can be accessed at the links at the bottom of this page.
Fox Island Wind Neighbors, representing homeowners living near the three 1.5 megawatt wind turbines on the Island of Vinalhaven off the coast of Maine, delivered an analysis of local electric rates to the administration of Governor Paul LePage demonstrating that the highly acclaimed turbines -- promised to be a cost savings to ratepayers-- are instead costing ratepayers more than if they had never been built. To access the documents click on the links at the bottom of this page.
These comments were prepared in response to issues raised in the review of wind power permitting by the Maine Office of Energy Independence and Security as requested by the legislature in resolve LD 1366. The authors co-chair Citizen’s Task Force on Wind Power, a statewide coalition of more than 400 citizens concerned about the proliferation of industrial wind projects in Maine
The purpose of this Ordinance is to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents and property owners of Caratunk by establishing reasonable and uniform regulations for Wind Energy Facilities (WEFs).
The Maine Board of Environmental Protection voted to impose this more stringent noise regulation on commercial wind turbines operating near homes or businesses. The new rules were also approved by the Maine state legislature. THe new rules lower from 45 decibels to 42 decibels the maximum allowable noise from wind farms between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. as measured from houses and other “protected locations” within one mile of the turbines. The rules also lay out a detailed process for collecting sound readings and compiling noise complaints. A portion of the rules is excerpted below. The document can be accessed at the link(s) on this page.
Neighbors of the Vinalhaven wind turbine farm filed a lawsuit against the state of Maine for failing to enforce noise regulations against Fox Islands Wind, the turbine operator. The neighbors’ lawsuit charges that the decision by Maine DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) on June 30th was arbitrary and capricious and driven by political meddling against the recommendation of DEP regulatory staff.
This complaint was filed with the Maine Public Utility on behalf of ratepayers and members of the Fox Islands Electric Cooperative ("FIEC") aggrieved by unreasonable practices engaged in and unreasonable rates charged by FIEC.
The town of Eastbrook, Maine adopted this wind ordinance to protect its residents from noise, shadow flicker and other impacts produced by operating wind energy facilities.