Articles filed under General from Maine
In a straight party-line vote, the Maine Senate on Thursday approved a bill that lifts the 100-megawatt cap for qualifying renewable power generation such as hydropower.
The Maine Board of Environmental Protection voted Wednesday to uphold state regulators’ decision to grant a permit for a 50-turbine wind farm in Oakfield that would be the largest single wind energy project built in Maine to date.
Kevin Gurall, president of the group Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed, argued that LURC had already given Champlain ample time, including a 90-day extension, to revamp its plans. Granting more extensions would effectively approve "procedural gamesmanship" that would "work to undermine the public process," Gural said.
Neighbors of three wind turbines on this island will get a hearing in court to see whether Fox Island Wind's plan to quiet its turbines is stringent enough.
Although court documents state there were two nights in July 2010 that the Vinalhaven turbines were too noisy, the problem has persisted, according to the Fox Island Wind Neighbors, a group of about 15 people who filed a lawsuit in July 2011 in Kennebec County Superior Court seeking to nullify a June 2011 Department of Environmental Protection order against the wind power project developer. The group wants the court to institute an earlier version of the order developed by DEP staff that imposed tougher compliance requirements.
"In order to meet the 2015 goal, at least 552 new turbines will have to be permitted and become operational by 2012, and - depending on the size of the turbines - potentially as many as 1,103 turbines will be needed," Ward's report states.
Maine will not be able to accomplish the state-mandated goal of building 2000 megawatts of wind power on land by 2015. That's one conclusion of two studies issued this week by the governor's energy office and an independent group of researchers. The studies also urged reconsideration of the landmark 2008 law that allowed wind turbines to be built in ecologically and scenically important areas of the state.
But like most growth spurts, Maine's rush into wind energy has not been pain-free. Lawsuits, regulatory challenges and financial problems have slowed or snuffed out numerous projects. Alarmed by stories told by turbine neighbors elsewhere, voters in towns across Maine have banned commercial wind power near their homes. Federal subsidies that fueled wind power's dramatic national expansion are at risk of expiring amid the changing political environment in Washington, D.C.
Also approved was an ordinance establishing a one-year moratorium on wind power projects, while a town committee crafts an ordinance. Bob Elliot of the committee said members wished to have the time to get feedback on the new Spruce Mountain LLC project. He said that since the project went online in December, the group has been receiving input from residents.
Debbie Huddleston and her husband bought their home 15 years ago because the site was quiet and had picturesque views of farmland off Bailey Hill Road. When they learned recently about a neighbor's plan to have wind turbines built on the farmland, the couple feared their peaceful existence and property value would suffer.
A legal petition aimed at reinstating a state rule for limiting noise at a controversial wind farm in Maine can proceed, a judge ruled on Friday, denying a motion from the farm's developer, Fox Islands Wind, for dismissal.
About 60 people from five towns attended Thursday night's hearing by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on an application for developing a wind farm on Canton Mountain. A number of them posed questions about the impact of the $44 million project on the environment, wildlife and who was going to buy the energy generated by the turbines.
In a complaint filed at Penobscot County Superior Court, Peter and Julie Beckford allege that town officials in Clifton erred in granting Pisgah Mountain LLC a permit for construction of a $25 million five-turbine wind facility. They are asking that the court rule on several issues they raised and send the matter back to the planning board.
A 14-turbine industrial wind site called Passadumkeag Wind Park proposed for Passadumkeag Mountain would directly overlook Soponac and West lakes, state officials say.
The wind energy moratorium temporarily bans developers from building wind turbines in the community. The town planning board is forming a committee, which will consist of town officials and community members, to draft a town ordinance on wind energy projects, Davis said.
I thought the people in the town deserved to be heard. So it was a conscious choice -- I decided the film was from the point of view of the town. We do show footage of their promo videos, because that's the information the town had access to. Even now, wind companies hire people to hand out leaflets at screenings of the film, but they won't come to the Q&As.
To fight the wind farm project, the Beckfords asked the town's board of appeals to review the planning board's approval of the project, citing 11 items they contend the planners did not fully consider. The appeals board decided late Wednesday to deny their appeal.
Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. today announced that it plans not to proceed with the previously announced investment in First Wind Holdings, LLC's ("First Wind") wind portfolio in the North East United States. The initial joint announcement with Emera Inc. in April 2011 had contemplated APUC acquiring a minority interest of approximately 12.5% in the Portfolio, representing an approximate U.S. $83 million investment.
A question arose about whether this could be voted on during a special town meeting or would have to wait till next year, leaving the door open for anyone to erect a wind system with no guidelines. ...During a public hearing before the board vote, Bert Knapp told the board he thought the proposed ordinance was too weak regarding noise.
The farm would be located in Unorganized Territory at a decommissioned U.S. Air Force radar site nearly ten miles north of Columbia Falls amid a web of dirt roads, blueberry barrens and cranberry bogs. The tribe already owns 1,060 acres of blueberry barrens adjacent to the 1,000 acres that the U.S. General Services Administration is offering for sale.