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Those who want turbines, please stand up; If not Byron, then where?

By giving organized Maine expedited status for wind developments, the state's task force has invited developers to consider these areas for projects. It's an incentive, plain and simple, to know where planning reviews will have priority, and where they will not. Reaction in Byron indicates towns and cities won't take to this designation, even if they think alternative energies are necessary. The belief somewhere else, or some other energy technology, is more appropriate is just too strong. It was in Byron, and if a reputed repeal effort in Roxbury gains strength, there, too. And these are emblematic of the towns wind companies should target - rural, mountainous and with low populations, and therefore low impact. But it's a choice to accept wind power, as communities and commissions have myriad reasons to reject proposals.

This is the new question for Maine regarding wind power, following the town's rejection of turbine construction. A Brunswick company, Independence Wind, had proposed to build eight, with 20 more in neighboring Roxbury.

Roxbury approved the turbines earlier this month, but hard feelings abound in Byron.

Residents feel wronged by town officials who didn't share critical information about the project. Developers feel their proposal was derailed by misinformation and fear, after what they thought was acceptance by the townsfolk.

There was more than wind at work in Byron, however. Sometimes, politics in small, sleepy towns can be more vicious than those in Washington. Yet they're immaterial to this issue.

The real issue is where wind power is developed in Maine. Small communities such as Roxbury and Byron, after several battles in unorganized territories, are now viewed as ideal candidates for wind projects. A recent state task force cited all of organized Maine as right for sites.

It seems a hasty conclusion, given the discord in Byron. If a town of 120 people, in a remote part of the state, can divide along such harsh lines regarding wind, potential for acrimony... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

This is the new question for Maine regarding wind power, following the town's rejection of turbine construction. A Brunswick company, Independence Wind, had proposed to build eight, with 20 more in neighboring Roxbury.

Roxbury approved the turbines earlier this month, but hard feelings abound in Byron.

Residents feel wronged by town officials who didn't share critical information about the project. Developers feel their proposal was derailed by misinformation and fear, after what they thought was acceptance by the townsfolk.

There was more than wind at work in Byron, however. Sometimes, politics in small, sleepy towns can be more vicious than those in Washington. Yet they're immaterial to this issue.

The real issue is where wind power is developed in Maine. Small communities such as Roxbury and Byron, after several battles in unorganized territories, are now viewed as ideal candidates for wind projects. A recent state task force cited all of organized Maine as right for sites.

It seems a hasty conclusion, given the discord in Byron. If a town of 120 people, in a remote part of the state, can divide along such harsh lines regarding wind, potential for acrimony could escalate proportional to population.

Which is frustrating, because few Mainers disagree - as gasoline and heating oil prices soar upwards - on seeking alternative energy sources. It's a close-knit family that can argue so much about what everyone wants.

By giving organized Maine expedited status for wind developments, the state's task force has invited developers to consider these areas for projects. It's an incentive, plain and simple, to know where planning reviews will have priority, and where they will not.

Reaction in Byron indicates towns and cities won't take to this designation, even if they think alternative energies are necessary. The belief somewhere else, or some other energy technology, is more appropriate is just too strong.

It was in Byron, and if a reputed repeal effort in Roxbury gains strength, there, too. And these are emblematic of the towns wind companies should target - rural, mountainous and with low populations, and therefore low impact.

But it's a choice to accept wind power, as communities and commissions have myriad reasons to reject proposals. The turbines will cast shadows, they will make noise, they will require construction and they will - as most 400+ foot structures cannot avoid - be seen.

Yet they will also produce electricity, and pay taxes. To some in Byron, these were ancillary, as the production and savings weren't worth the headaches.

Some communities may feel differently. Where are they? Instead of guessing where turbines should go, towns and their residents should raise their hands and ask for them. It would make for smoother, successful projects.

Maine must develop wind energy. It has great potential. But Maine cannot continue to have projects derailed because it's better elsewhere, especially when the state's best guess at the right place - towns like Byron - is apparently wrong. So if not Byron, then where?

Somebody answer, please.


Source: http://www.sunjournal.com/s...

MAR 16 2008
https://www.windaction.org/posts/13876-those-who-want-turbines-please-stand-up-if-not-byron-then-where
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