Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Attorney's representing Portland-based Competitive Energy Service and Ron Price, who owns the Beaver Ridge property where the turbines would be built, spent nearly the first hour of the Board of Appeals meeting arguing that the board did not have the authority to hear the appeal and that two of the four members were biased against the project. ...Citing conflicting language in two ordinances, the board voted 3-0 (chairman Addison Chase abstained) to move forward with the hearing.
The latest appeal of a proposed wind project on Beaver Ridge is set to get an airing tonight. The Board of Appeals is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. at the Congregational Church to hear arguments filed by Steve Bennett, Erin Bennett-Wade and Jeff Keating against Portland-based Competitive Energy Service's plan to erect three, 400-foot turbines.
The Board of Appeals also has scheduled meetings for Sept. 12 and 26 to continue the hearing process. In their appeal filed last month, the Bennetts and Keating argue that the turbines cannot be built without trespassing over private property and that the Competitive Energy failed to secure permission from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
FARMINGTON - The debate over wind power continued Friday as people wrangled over the need to develop sustainable renewable energy sources, conserve energy, preserve mountaintops, and where towering wind turbines would fit on Maine mountains, if they do.
AUGUSTA -- A smaller version of a wind farm proposal that generated a storm of controversy last year is slated to go to public hearings in September. The Black Nubble Wind Farm, which calls for 18 wind turbines on the western Maine mountain, will go before the public Sept. 19 and 20 and, if more time is needed, on Sept. 21 at the Sugarloaf Grand Summit Conference Center in Carrabassett Valley. That Black Nubble project is a smaller version of the Redington wind farm, which called for placing 30 turbines on both Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble.
TransCanada Energy Ltd. representatives and others gave a tour this week of the area targeted for a proposed $270 million wind farm in Kibby and Skinner townships. TransCanada has submitted a petition to the state Land Use Regulation Commission to rezone 2,908 acres to allow for a 44-turbine wind farm with access roads, transmission lines and other features. The hearing on the proposal is scheduled Oct. 2-4 at Sugarloaf/USA, TransCanada Project Manager Nick Di domenico said. Friends of the Boundary Mountains have filed for intervenor status to oppose the project, he said, while the Maine Audubon Society, Natural Resources Council of Maine and Appalachian Mountain Club have filed in favor of it.
FREEDOM - Landowners in the area of a proposed wind turbine development have filed another appeal to try and shut the project down. Steve Bennett, Erin Bennett-Wade and Jeff Keating argue in a letter filed to town officials this week that the company that seeks to install the turbines can only do so by trespassing over private property. "The decision of the (Code Enforcement Officer) and the planning board should therefore be reversed," the three wrote to the Board of Appeals.
LEE - Residents spoke for and against a $100 million wind farm being proposed for far eastern Maine when the Land Use Regulation Commission held its first public hearing on the project Tuesday. Evergreen Wind Power is seeking a zoning change to build 38 wind turbines on Stetson Mountain, a ridge line that runs about six miles along the border between northern Washington County and Penobscot County between Danforth and Springfield.
The Western Maine Legislative Caucus will sponsor a free public breakfast forum on proposed wind energy projects in northern Franklin County at 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at the University of Maine Farmington, Olsen Student Center. The forum will include presenters with different perspectives on the two projects and wind energy in general.
LEE, Maine - Dale Wheaton said he has nothing against wind energy. But as the owner of a traditional sporting lodge, Wheaton doesn't regard 400-foot-tall wind turbines on the horizon of a lake where he takes clients as a benefit to his business. Rather, Wheaton described those hypothetical turbines as a blemish on the natural beauty that drew his clients to the region in the first place. "From my perspective, will it put me out of business? No, it won't," Wheaton, owner of Wheaton's Lodge in Forest City, said Tuesday evening. "Will it make the experience less for my clients? Absolutely." Wheaton was one of nearly a dozen people who expressed concern at a public hearing Tuesday night about Evergreen Wind Power's plans to build a 38-turbine wind farm on Stetson Mountain in rural, northern Washington County. But for nearly every critic of the plan among the 80 people in attendance at Lee Academy there was someone like Kirk Ritchie, a small-business owner and local selectman who believes the estimated $100 million project will benefit the local economy.
LEE (AP) -- The Land Use Regulation Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening in Lee on what would be New England's largest wind farm. Evergreen Wind Power wants to erect 38 turbines along a ridgeline on Stetson Mountain that runs alongside Route 169 in northern Washington County, about midway between Springfield and Danforth. Evergreen's parent company, UPC Wind Management, says the project could generate 57 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 27,000 households. UPC Wind also operates the Mars Hill wind farm in Aroostook County, which has been fully operational since March. Its latest project has a price tag of $100 million.
The Land Use Regulation Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening on an energy company's plans to build a $100 million wind farm in northern Washington County. The commission will begin hearing public comments on the proposed Stetson Mountain wind farm at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lee Academy in the town of Lee. LURC will reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to hear from the developer, Evergreen Wind Power, and officially recognized parties. Evergreen Wind Power, a subsidiary of UPC Wind Management, is seeking LURC authorization to build what would be New England's largest wind farm on a ridgeline that runs alongside Route 169 about halfway between Springfield and Danforth.
After Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan admitted he improperly discussed a pending case with a Land Use Regulation commissioner, Gov. John Baldacci has ordered his cabinet members to undergo refresher training on discussions with regulatory agencies. "They got to be reminded," Baldacci said in an interview Thursday. "Guidance is being provided through the Attorney General's Office and what I have done is direct the counsel, Mike Mahoney, my counsel, to work with the guidance that has been provided with the other commissioners and make sure they all know." Baldacci said several commissioners, including McGowan, have regulatory bodies within their agencies. All cabinet members need to be sure that any contact they have with regulators is within the limits of the process established by the agencies.
Central Maine Power and Maine Public Service have asked the ISO New England to review the feasibility of a transmission line that would link northern Maine with the regional grid and create a path for wind power to flow to load centers in southern New England. Tim Brown, MPS director of corporate planning and regulatory affairs, said Thursday that the line, expected to be in excess of 100 miles, would allow transmission of more than 500 MW of wind power, most of it still in planning. While the idea of connecting northern Maine to the regional grid has been discussed for years, it has taken on a new significance given the difficulty utilities and merchant generators have encountered when they've attempted to build plants in the high-demand southern New England states. In addition to growing demand, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have renewable portfolio standards, which create pressure for more large scale wind. But no major projects have been built in southern New England. In northern Maine, about 42 MW of wind is operating and an additional 500 MW has been proposed. If the line is not built, Brown said wind electricity in northern Maine could be routed into Canada then into southern New England. That, however, would require major upgrades to grid interface between MPS and New Brunswick Power. Brown said the utilities expect the ISO impact study to be completed by the end of 2007.
We had to see this one coming. Tempers are flaring in a Scarborough subdivision about one homeowner's new yard ornaments: solar panels mounted on 10- foot-tall metal poles. Laurence Gardner said his family installed the photovoltaic panels to reduce pollution and slow global warming. Some neighbors, however, say the structures have spoiled the scenery, dragged down property values and violated the homeowners' covenant. Why do the words "billable hours" come to mind?
Franklin County commissioners signed a letter to support the Kibby Wind Power project slated for Kibby and Skinner townships in the northern section of the county, not far from the Canadian border. The commission unanimously voted to support the project on July 3 and Commissioners Fred Hardy of New Sharon and Meldon Gilmore of Freeman Township endorsed the letter to be sent to Catherine Carroll, director of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, Tuesday. Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay had signed the letter earlier. TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. proposes to build a 44-turbine wind farm on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range. The LURC staff is currently reviewing the company's petition to rezone about 2,908 acres to a planned development subdistrict for the wind farm.
The Friends of the Boundary Mountains are opposed to the TransCanada request to rezone Kibby Mountain and the Kibby Range from a "protected mountain zone" to a zone that permits industrial development, which would enable the construction of a 44-tower wind power project. FBM invites the public to attend an evening of information and a free spaghetti dinner at the Stratton-Eustis Community Building on Friday, July 20 at 6 p.m. The purpose of the dinner is to explain FBM's reasons for opposing this wind project.
Members of the Land Use Regulation Commission had a chance to see and hear some of the positives and negatives of wind energy on Thursday as they toured the Mars Hill wind farm in central Aroostook County. Because Mars Hill is located outside of Maine's Unorganized Territory, the wind farm is not within LURC's jurisdiction. But the commissioners and staff hoped the tour would offer valuable perspective as they review three major wind-energy proposals, including one by the operators of the Mars Hill facility.
PORTLAND, Maine -- A scaled-down proposal for a wind farm in Maine's western mountains is being filed Tuesday with the Land Use Regulation Commission. The latest plan by Maine Mountain Power follows LURC's rejection of its broader plan that included wind turbines along the Redington Pond Range. Some environmental groups had opposed that aspect of the plan, saying it threatened to ruin scenic vistas enjoyed by hikers. The latest project on Black Nubble Mountain calls for 18 wind turbines that would generate 54 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 20,000 homes a year. That's more than any other wind power installation now operating in New England. Twenty environmental, economic, health and faith-based organizations plan to announce their support for the project at a news conference on Tuesday in Portland.
About 20 environmental, business, health and faith-based organizations are expected to announce their support this morning for a new scaled-down wind farm plan near the Sugarloaf USA ski resort. The news conference is timed to coincide with the formal filing of the Black Nubble Mountain wind farm proposal by Maine Mountain Power. The proposal is the scaled-down version of a more controversial plan for turbines on the Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble.