Library filed under Impact on Wildlife from Maine
The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife wrote me saying, "unfortunately some of the concerns we share can only be addressed by studying wildlife interactions at operational wind facilities. This is particularly true for understanding the effect low frequency noise and shadow flicker have on the survival, reproduction, ...." So, basically let's build them and see what happens?
Now in 2010, TransCanada wants to expand the Kibby project and is proposing 15 turbines on Sisk Mountain, which overlooks the Chain of Ponds. To do this TransCanada wants to expand the already expedited area of Maine to include the portion of Sisk Mountain not yet within this "umbrella." TransCanada is petitioning to add another 630 acres to the expedited area, all of it overlooking Chain of Ponds, Big Island, and Massachusetts Bog.
A proposal to build Maine's largest wind complex in Highland Plantation, at the doorstep of the Bigelow Preserve and the Appalachian Trail, is under review by the Land Use Regulation Commission. Prior to 2008 changes in site laws, this project would have had slim chance of being permitted, given its proximity to important Maine scenic assets. Under the new law, it could slide through in a process that has been greatly abbreviated.
In just under nine months, the residents of several Somerset county communities might see our beloved landscape and soundscape changed drastically for the remainder of our lives. Likewise, all the people of Maine could lose the scenic value of some of the state's finest natural treasures, and few even know of the threat. Under recently amended state laws, all could occur with little consideration to the wisdom or long term implications of such a move.
All one has to do is look at the impact of the Kibby TransCanada industrial wind operation in the remote boundary mountains of western Maine. This is nothing more than industrial wind mountaintop removal. It is being driven by dollars and cents, not ecological sense. To call mountaintop wind operations "farms" is nothing more than public relations. Farms suggest a positive relationship with the land.
Mountaintop wind is both an ecological and economic boondoggle. It is time to take a step back from industrial mountaintop wind power and to develop an energy policy that is not driven by the profits to be made from federal subsidies. After this mountaintop gold rush has played out, Mainers will be left with a despoiled landscape and the magic of the mountains will be gone forever.
I fear greatly the rush to turn its high ground into an electrical generator for out-of-state interests. I think Gov. John Baldacci is way off base in his unbridled support of this frantic race for government handouts that will enrich a greedy few at the expense of many ... including wildlife that can't speak for itself. Mr. Carter's clear and thoughtful commentary against industrial-grade wind developments should speak loudly to citizens of Maine.
Over the next several months Stantec will operate a number of radar units and arrays of digital acoustic bat detector systems at select sites located 6 to 20 miles off of the coast of Maine, covering a transect of nearly 150 miles from Casco Bay north to Machias Seal Island. Stantec scientists will be monitoring the data for information on the offshore presence or absence, timing, flight heights, and passage rates of bats and birds moving south during the late summer and fall migration season.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has released its answers to questions and concerns raised earlier this year about a proposed wind-power project in Roxbury. As part of its review process, the department convened its public meeting on Feb. 18 to gather information and questions people had about the Record Hill Wind project. It proposes to site 22 wind turbines on Roxbury ridges running from Partridge Peak to Record Hill on the west side of Route 17.
As planners and developers zero in on locations for offshore wind turbines along the Maine coast, researchers such as Wing Goodale are trying to follow the birds. Goodale, a biologist with the BioDiversity Research Institute in Gorham, is about to release a report and a preliminary map of bird populations along the Maine coast. It's one of several efforts to prevent, or at least reduce, conflicts between offshore turbines and the animals that live in or pass through coastal Maine.
This photo shows the enormity of the transmission lines erected to transport energy from the Kibby Mountain wind facility in Northern Maine. The poles are approximately 100-feet tall, well above the 35-foot tall distribution lines in the foreground. These lines, which run for miles, are very visible contribution to the industrialization of the area. The rights of way are typically 80-100 feet in width creating extensive habitat fragmentation beyond the turbine site.
The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued First Wind of Massachusetts a permit Tuesday to build a 40-turbine industrial wind site for $130 million on Rollins Mountain in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn. "The Department finds that the applicant has demonstrated that the proposed project will provide significant tangible benefits to the host community and surrounding area,".
Endless Energy's effort to put a wind farm on top of Redington Mountain near Carrabassett Valley is a bad idea that won't die the death it sorely needs. In fact, the idea seems to get worse all the time. Knocked down four times, twice by the Land Use Regulation Commission, once by the Governor's Wind Power Task Force, and once by the legislature in its 2008 Wind Power bill, this commercial creature is still on its feet however barely.
First Wind of Massachusetts' proposed $130 million wind farm and an associated 115-kilovolt power line might affect an Essential Fish Habitat for Atlantic salmon, but its impact will be minimal if precautions are taken, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday.
More than 30 people expressed their concerns about a massive power line upgrade project proposed by Central Maine Power at Lewiston City Hall Monday night during a public hearing before Maine's Public Utilities Commission. About 70 people were present. ...Nearly all of those who spoke before Commissioners Jack Cashman, Sharon Reishus and Vendean Vafiades were apprehensive about the project, anticipating noise pollution, loss of property value and health risks.
Wiscasset is being considered for the largest energy development proposal - and potentially the largest development project of any kind - in the history of the state. A Toronto entrepreneur who has developed Canadian wind farms has floated the idea of building a massive $2 billion underground hydropower station at the old Maine Yankee nuclear power station site. The project would be one of the first of its kind anywhere. The proposal raises questions about impacts on the Back River and groundwater, and it would use as much energy as it creates.
The wind turbine project for the mountains between Roxbury Pond and the Swift River in Roxbury is not suitable for the area. Environmental, health and quality of life impacts will be with area residents long after the wind turbines have been replaced with more reliable and efficient sources of power. People must always consider the environmental impact of any industry in the precious Maine woods and waters.
This task force abandoned the very idea of stewardship and capitulated to temporary commands of a very temporary administration. LURC has become foot soldiers for developers and surrendered the near-sacred trust placed in them by former legislators, and the people of Maine, who have a field of vision broader than what is either convenient or politically correct. It is lonely at the top of the mountain, standing against the tide of state policy, public opinion, public interest groups and deep pockets willing to exploit mountains as sacrificial areas in trades and arrangements to benefit their interests. LURC has made a bad decision. Generations from now will look back and shake their heads at these piles of metal and wonder why.
Diane Winn doesn't dispute the need for clean, renewable energy -- the kind provided by wind turbines and hydroelectric dams. But Winn and Marc Payne, her partner at Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center, are all about saving injured or abandoned wild birds. Wind turbines provide clean energy, but birds often die when they fly into turbines, and the noise the machines make can disrupt bird and human alike. For those reasons, Winn and Payne say they would close their North Palermo Road facility if Beaver Ridge Wind, an affiliate of Competitive Energy Service, builds three electricity-generating wind turbines on nearby Beaver Ridge. "No one argues with the basic fact that turbines kill birds," Winn said. "The only issue is how many are killed, and whether those numbers impact species populations."
On Capitol Hill, the Audubon Society is leading the fight to increase production of climate-friendly power. So why are Audubon enthusiasts battling a wind farm that could help meet that goal? For one thing, there are trout in nearby streams, which activists say are at risk from chemical and sediment runoff from construction of 30 turbines, each soaring about 400 feet -- taller than the Statue of Liberty. Then there are the bats and hawks, which might be puréed by the giant blades that would catch the wind gusting along the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. "They're enormous," says Tom Dick, a retired veterinarian who founded the local Audubon chapter. "When you start looking at this, it's like, 'hell, this is not right.'"