Articles filed under Zoning/Planning from Maine
Local reaction opposing the Freedom Planning Board’s Dec. 7 decision permitting Competitive Energy Services (CES) to erect three wind turbines on Beaver Ridge has now gelled in the form of an appeal at the local level brought by 27 town residents. A letter from Bangor attorney Ed Bearor received Tuesday at the town office addressed to Addison Chase, chairman of the town board of appeals, lists those appellants, all of whom live or own property within two miles of the proposed project site. Earlier, Bearor was on record as representing just four appellants, Judy Bennett, Steve Bennett, Jason Wade and Erin Bennett-Wade. In another letter from Bearor to the appeals board chairman received Wednesday, the attorney contends the planning board “improperly found, without sufficient supportive evidence in the record, that the project would meet” a variety of standards set down in the town’s recently enacted Commercial Development Review Ordinance. The specific areas of disagreement with the planning board’s permitting decision include noise, stormwater management, avoidance and mitigation of damages to public roads and drainage systems, bonding, and fire suppression. The pending appeal is also based on the planning board’s response to CES’s intention to combine transmission lines and points of connection to the local distribution lines, the Portland-based company’s alleged failure to demonstrate sufficient right title and interest in the area between the end of Sibley Road and the proposed project site and its alleged failure to demonstrate “that the project would not adversely affect the scenic or natural beauty of the area.”
I drive a hybrid car, heat my home with biodiesel fuel, and understand the need for action on global warming. I can empathize with individuals and organizations anxious to just get going and start doing something. I draw the line, though, on supporting absolutely anything that comes along without due consideration of its effects. This is easy in this case, because the benefits of this proposal are hypothetical. The damage it will cause is not.
TransCanada Corp. has filed an application with state land regulators seeking permission to rezone 2,900 mountain acres and to build a $270 million wind-energy producing farm in northern Franklin County. TransCanada, a leading energy developer in North America, proposes to install 44 3-megawatt turbines and associated infrastructure on 13.7 miles of ridge line on on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in the Boundary Mountains in Kibby and Skinner townships, north of Eustis.
KIBBY TOWNSHIP, Maine - A Canadian-based energy company has filed its application with state regulators seeking a zoning change and development permit for 2,900 acres in western Maine to build a $270 million wind farm. TransCanada Corp., based in Calgary, Alberta, is proposing to erect 44 wind turbines on 13.7 miles of ridge line on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Kibby and Skinner townships in northern Franklin County near the Canadian border.
Public need is, in fact, one of the principal criteria by which LURC is supposed to judge a project of this kind, and effective measures to reduce emissions are surely needed. But do we need the proposed wind plant on Redington — this particular development? This is the very different and specific question that the commissioners must answer. Their job is not to answer the question, do we need wind power somewhere, but rather do we need it here in this highly sensitive site? Testimony presented at the hearing by Thomas Hewson, an environmental and energy consultant with 30 years of experience, indicates that we do not.
Thursday’s board of appeals meeting to discuss the Beaver Ridge wind turbine project was short and sweet. The board, which failed to announce the organizational meeting properly, decided to delay much of the work it had planned to do until it reconvenes at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the town office....... The appeals board will use Tuesday’s meeting set a date for hearing the appeal, determine if it needs legal council throughout the process–an attorney worked with the planning board throughout its deliberation–and to set a time limit for meetings.
FREEDOM — A plan to put wind turbines on Beaver Ridge is becalmed again. Steve Bennett and his family have appealed the planning board’s approval of the project. In a one page letter, Bangor Attorney Edmond Bearor, who represented the Bennetts throughout the planning board hearing process, listed numerous instances in which Bearor believes the planning board should have rejected the application for lack of evidence. The letter was turned in to the town office on Saturday, the final day the ordinance allowed an appeal to be filed.
We must hope, maybe even pray, that the seven LURC commissioners, who are commonsense Maine people, are aware of the far-reaching consequences of the vote they are about to take on Redington and Black Nubble. Their decision will be far more important in the long run than the controversial pending Plum Creek proposal around Moosehead Lake. Redington, in a sense, represents a dam’s floodgate for the industrialization of our mountains. The commissioners have the power to crank it open or keep it closed.
The wind power project on Beaver Ridge reached a milestone Thursday, Jan. 4, when the Freedom Planning Board signed an order stating the project complied with the town’s commercial development review ordinance. No vote was required, as the board had voted 5-1 to approve the project in early December. Belfast attorney William Kelly, who represents the board, drafted the formal order in the last month.
A school district in Waldo County is looking to become the first district in the state to use wind power. SAD 3 is teaming up with Unity College and Coastal Enterprises Institute exploring whether there is enough wind to put an industrial scale wind turbine near Mount View High School.
Staffers from Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission are recommending 1,004 mountaintop acres in northern Franklin County be rezoned for a 30-turbine wind-energy project. Maine Mountain Power LLC has proposed building a $130 million wind farm on the ridges of Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble mountains in Redington Township, about 4 miles west of Sugarloaf/USA in Carrabassett Valley. The wind farm would consist of turbines on top of towers about 400 feet tall, ridge line roads, two meteorological towers, transmission lines, new access roads and upgraded existing roads among other features. The project is expected to provide about 100 jobs during its yearlong construction and about 10 permanent jobs to the region.
The staff of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission has recommended approval of a proposed $150 million wind power project in northern Franklin County. The draft recommendation on Maine Mountain Power’s Redington wind farm was released Friday. It goes before the seven-member Commission for a vote Jan. 24.
The months-long review process of a proposed $12 million wind power project on Beaver Ridge has ended with the application winning the necessary town permits, but an appeal is in the works. Competitive Energy Services LLC of Portland announced in March it wanted to build three towers with wind turbines to produce 4.5 megawatts of electricity to be sold commercially through Central Maine Power’s electric grid.
The town of Freedom has moved one step closer to becoming the next site in Maine to have a wind farm. The wind turbines in Freedom will look similar to these in Mars Hill.
A federal law designed to ease electricity transmission bottlenecks and improve power reliability could hit Maine ratepayers in the pocketbooks, twice. The measure could force the construction of transmission lines to move Maine’s surplus power south. Not only could the loss of the surplus increase the price of electricity in the state, but Maine consumers would also have to pay part of the cost of building the lines.
FREEDOM — The Planning Board on Thursday cleared the way for a plan to erect three electricity-generating windmills on Beaver Ridge. After deliberating more than six hours, the board, by a 5-1 margin, approved Competitive Energy Solutions’ application to build the turbines, each of which will reach nearly 400 feet into the air.
The proposed wind power project on Beaver Ridge received final approval Thursday from the Planning Board. The 5-1 vote set the stage for an expected appeal by neighbors who are opposed to the development. Although the vote was not unanimous, none of the Planning Board members were actually opposed to the project. While he believes the wind turbines are a good idea, Prentice Grassi said developer Competitive Energy Services of Portland failed to adequately address whether the project would comply with Freedom’s noise standards. “I’m not opposed to the project, but I’m unsure about some of the assumptions made in the noise study,” said Grassi.
The proposed wind power project on Beaver Ridge received final approval Thursday from the Planning Board. The 5-1 vote set the stage for an expected appeal by neighbors who are opposed to the development.
FREEDOM -- A proposal to erect three electricity generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge came as close to being scrapped last night as it had during several hours of planning board deliberation. The board, which deliberated for about three hours last week and resumed its review Thursday night, talked seriously about limiting the company that hopes to install the turbines, Portland-based Competitive Energy Solutions, to a specific model. Such a limitation would have sent the company packing. "If that's where you are going, we might as well call it quits," said Richard Silkman, a partner at competitive energy.
Although the approach is too late for projects that have already begun a federal review process, a dozen New England congressmen and senators have asked for help from the Department of Energy in coordinating a regional approach to siting liquefied natural gas facilities. Reps. Tom Allen and Mike Michaud have both signed on to this request, which makes sense for future energy projects.