Articles from Maine
She said the cost of one form of subsidy, called net metering, is expected to double in National Grid’s service area from $35 million in 2014 to $71 million this year. She said the cost of solar renewable energy credits is expected to rise from $59 million in 2015 to $228 million this year. She estimated the cost of solar subsidies will be borne by the utility’s non-solar customers over the next six years to the tune of $2 billion.
The stage is set for lawmakers once again to weigh in on how to address concerns of residents in the Unorganized Territory that a landmark 2008 law stole from them the ability to participate in decisions on wind energy development in their proverbial backyards. ...While developers must still obtain the approval of the state Department of Environmental Protection before breaking ground on a new turbine, the elimination of the zoning process removed from the UT residents the ability to weigh in, to say if they didn’t want wind towers in their communities.
ORLAND — The town Planning Board is continuing a review of the rules that govern any proposed wind power projects, although board members are still trying to determine the nature of that review
The developer of the 16-turbine Bowers Mountain wind power project near eight lakes with special scenic designation argued Wednesday to Maine’s highest court that regulators erred in considering the project’s collective effect on the lakes.
The governor wants to move Maine instead toward a greater reliance on hydropower and is again pushing to modify the state's policies to facilitate the purchase of power from large-scale projects in Canada. His administration is also launching another bid to revamp the state's renewable targets to include the goal of lower cost to ratepayers. "If these (wind) projects are going to come, I want them to benefit the people who are most affected by it," said Patrick Woodcock, director of the Governor's Energy Office.
Selectman Duane Vigue said the moratorium is being proposed to allow the planning board time to conduct research since the town has no standards for reviewing a solar panel farm. He said the project would be located in the middle of the historic district of town and the town wants to make sure it does not hurt the neighbors.
David Littell, the only member of the Public Utilities Commission who regularly disagrees with Gov. Paul LePage, says he will work on at least three major cases. The lone commissioner at the Maine Public Utilities Commission who has been at odds with the energy policies of Gov. Paul LePage says he’s going to remain on the job after his term expires on March 31.
Commissioners in December approved term sheets for SunEdison’s 72.6MW Weaver and NextEra Energy Resources’ 44MW Highland projects ...However, one of the three commissioners has since been replaced and the board recently voted 2-1 to renegotiate the terms based on falling energy prices.
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.
The application also states that the site is located within the Moosehead Conservation Easement where “studies of wind speed, wind direction and other meteorological data is considered a specified land use to which Plum Creek has the right to undertake on the property.”
So here we are, a town divided, petitions ignored, selectmen pushing on with their plans for industrial development in our rural scenic areas. What got us here is poor leadership. On a board with combined terms of service measured in decades, not one of our selectmen has bothered to familiarize themselves with the assets of the town or the will of the people as outlined in the comprehensive plan. No wonder we are in such a mess.
An environmental group that has battled against the Bingham Wind Project in Somerset County has abandoned its appeal of the state licensing of the project, clearing the last regulatory hurdle in the way of construction of the $398 million project.
The group Friends of Maine Mountains has withdrawn its challenge to a permit for a 56-turbine SunEdison wind power project, clearing the way for the western Maine development to move ahead.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday to take a second look at the terms of two long-term wind purchasing deals the three-person commission approved in December. The makeup of the commission has changed since the December approval, with Carlisle McLean joining the panel in place of former chairman Tom Welch, who retired early at the end of 2014.
Of the $1.87 million, $1.12 million would be in the form of annual payments of $56,000 ($4,000 for each turbine) over 20 years. That much is mandated by state law, which says wind developers must compensate host communities such as Osborn. Of the remaining $750,000, one-third of it would come in a lump sum payment that the town would be required to use for public safety costs. The other $500,000 would be a second lump sum payment for an energy conservation fund.
The Board of Environmental Protection, an appointed citizen oversight panel, will consider the Bingham Wind permit appeal at a March 5 meeting and hear oral arguments before taking up a draft order that would uphold the permit for the 62-turbine wind farm.
A federal judge has rejected challenges to federal permits for a 50-turbine wind farm in Oakfield that broke ground in September and shipped components to Searsport on Monday.
The Board of Selectmen voted 3-1 Monday evening to postpone a vote to approve the most recent draft of the town's Wind Energy Facility Ordinance for the June 9 referendum until the Planning Board can address the concerns of a group of residents.
In a Feb. 18 order, the commission called for comments on whether the deals should be reconsidered in response to natural gas price forecasts from the benchmark Henry Hub, which now estimates that natural gas prices will be 20 percent lower than the prices the PUC used in its analysis of the wind power contracts.
Welch has been replaced on the commission with LePage's former chief legal counsel, Carlisle McLean. Now the PUC says it wants to hear from interested parties on whether recent dramatic energy price fluctuations warrant a reopening of the wind companies' proposals.