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Despite having yet gained town acceptance of its proposed wind power project in Roxbury, a Brunswick-based wind developer will convene an informational meeting next week with state environmental officials present. Robert Gardiner of Record Hill Wind LLC and Independence Wind LLC said the meeting will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 ...In a letter dated Tuesday to Roxbury residents, Gardiner explained that Record Hill Wind isn't trying to bypass an upcoming Roxbury town vote regarding allowing wind power projects on town hills.
First Wind is seeking approval for a 40-turbine wind project on ridgelines in the communities of Lincoln, Lee, Winn, Burlington and Mattawamkeag. The company filed paperwork for the Rollins Mountain project with the Lincoln planning board last week and submitted applications to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection late last month. The company also submitted applications last week to the Land Use Regulation Commission for a 17-turbine wind project outside of the town of Danforth in northern Washington County.
Residents gave town officials the green light Thursday, Nov. 6, at a special meeting, to get more information from companies interested in erecting wind turbines in Jackson. The vote came after extensive discussion and a number of changes to the way the authorization was worded. The special town meeting was prompted by announcements a month earlier that two different companies were interested in putting wind turbines on town-owned land as part of a larger project that would stretch across three communities.
A group of residents again pressed the new Town Council on Monday night for a 180-day moratorium on wind farms as their reaction to a Massachusetts developer's proposal for a $130 million wind farm. ..."There must be a reason why so many towns in the United States and Europe are holding moratoriums on wind farms," resident Joan Goodwin said. "A huge chunk of land within our towns will be forever blighted by this." About 80 people attended the meeting, held at Mattanawcook Academy to accommodate the crowd.
Turbines have been controversial in recent years, with recreation organizations and nature groups opposing large-scale private wind farms in western and northern Maine. Publicly owned, single turbines have been less controversial. Although they [backyard turbines] can save homeowners 30 to 80 percent on their electric bills, it can take up to a decade - sometimes longer - to recoup the cost. Experts say turbine owners won't be happy with wind power unless they're pursuing it to help the environment as well as save money.
A citizens group that opposes a proposed $120 million wind farm on Rollins Mountain has acquired a headquarters, a Web site and is in talks with an attorney, leading members said Wednesday. The Friends of Lincoln Lakes hopes to use the Web site, friendsoflincolnlakes.org, as a magnet for others statewide and nationwide who oppose or want to learn about wind farms such as those proposed by First Wind of Massachusetts.
Jo Dunphy, first assessor welcomed everyone. Dunphy issued a special welcome to former governor Angus King and Robert H. Gardiner, who own Independence Wind LLC of Cumberland, and have joined forces with Wagner Forest Services (who own some one million acres of land in Maine) to construct some 40 windmills in Highland Plantation on Wagner land. ...King noted that once the wind towers were operating they might be able to pay the first 500 kilowatts of electricity in each household in Highland each month and that 90 percent of the taxes of those living in Highland would be paid by the Independence Wind Company.
[T]here are some negatives associated with the increasingly popular form of alternative energy, according to a University of New Hampshire expert. But the cons - mainly noise and vibrations from the rotating turbines - are generally things people can live with, UNH assistant professor of geography Mary Lemcke said. In South Berwick, a 300-foot-high ridge across from Marshwood High School is being eyed as a possible location for a wind farm. A Cape Neddick-based alternative energy company is conducting a yearlong wind study there with the hopes a wind farm would be viable. For Wisconsin resident Gerry Meyer, however, the sound of five 400-foot-tall wind turbines located within three quarters of a mile of his home is simply unbearable.
The town will host a member of the Maine Public Utilities Commission and Gov. John Baldacci for a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday morning, officially unveiling the town's new 50 kilowatt wind turbine. The event will be held at the town's solid waste facility on Mackenzie Lane and is slated to be emceed by Town Council Chairman Jeff Thomson.
The debate over wind power soon will be blowing into additional Maine towns. First Wind, the Massachusetts company behind Maine's two largest wind energy facilities, plans to file applications with the state late this year or early next year for a facility with roughly 30 turbines in the southern Aroostook County town of Oakfield. The company also is moving forward with plans for projects in Rumford in western Maine as well as on Grand Manan Island just across the Canadian border.
Wind power advocates from across Maine talked about economic and environmental impact and turbine noise during a panel forum Thursday night at Black Mountain Ski Lodge. ...Kearney and Shaw, who live near the Mars Hill wind farm, addressed noise and visual issues associated with wind turbines. "My family lives 3,000 feet from the turbines on the east side of the mountain," Kearney said. "There's no doubt we do hear noise, but we don't focus on it. ...It sounds like a low-flying jet aircraft or a waterfall. You put these big, beautiful 100-foot blades up there and you have to hear something."
With Byron voters rejecting Independence Wind's proposal for wind power, plans for 20 turbines in Roxbury are moving ahead, despite efforts from some townspeople to reverse approval of that project. Meanwhile, another company - First Wind - plans turbines for nearby Black Mountain and will hold a meeting Thursday night to provide information and, probably, to quell the inevitable protest. And, in a plot twist, Independence Wind has announced a "Power to the People" campaign. If the zoning needed for their turbines is approved and the turbines are built, they promise free electricity to all Roxbury residents.
The anemometers, which measure wind speed, were installed by the Cape Neddick-based Ra Power Solutions company as part of a yearlong study to determine if a commercial wind farm would be viable there. If it is, a small-scale "niche" wind farm consisting of up to 300-foot high turbines could be constructed. It would be the first commercial wind farm in southern Maine, according to Dean Scontras, a former congressional candidate and vice president of business development for the company.
A month into its road construction for the 44-turbine Kibby Wind Power project north of Eustis, TransCanada Energy Corp. is holding a press conference on Thursday morning to announce a conservation agreement it's reached against developing 1,100 acres of ridgeline surrounding the wind project area and, additionally, that it will donate $500,000 towards the land conservation along the Grafton Loop Trail.
With two windmill projects tentatively planned for the River Valley area, the Natural Resources Council of Maine with the River Valley Growth Council, decided to hold a panel discussion on wind power. ...With two windmill projects tentatively planned for the River Valley area, the Natural Resources Council of Maine with the River Valley Growth Council, decided to hold a panel discussion on wind power.
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.
As First Wind of Massachusetts finishes building a wind farm on Stetson Mountain and prepares applications for another on Rollins Mountain, New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo continues probing allegations that the company dealt improperly with public officials in upstate New York. Begun in July, Cuomo's investigation probes whether First Wind and another company based in Connecticut improperly sought or obtained land-use agreements with residents and public officials; whether public officials received improper benefits to influence their actions; and whether they entered into anti-competitive agreements or practices.
A group of Fort Kent residents is proposing a moratorium on industrial wind turbines within town limits until local officials can develop ordinances governing the enormous structures. The group has gathered roughly 220 signatures on a petition seeking a 180-day moratorium on construction of commercial wind power facilities as well as processing of any applications. The petition would allow the Town Council to extend the moratorium or cancel it once Fort Kent's zoning and land-use ordinances have been amended to address wind power facilities.
Developers of a proposed wind power project sweetened the pot this week by offering to provide a significant amount of free electricity to every house and seasonal home in town year-round. To get it, the town must decide on amending its comprehensive plan and the new zoning ordinance to allow wind power facilities on town hills by year's end, according to a Monday letter to selectmen from Brunswick-based Independence Wind LLC principals Angus King and Rob Gardiner.
Officials with the Maine Power Connection wrapped up a weeklong tour of Aroostook County on Thursday morning, addressing business leaders, legislators and community members about a proposal to build a new $625 million transmission line from central Maine to connect northern Maine to the New England electric grid. The project would bring wind turbine projects online and close a 25-mile gap between the Maine Public Service system lines in Houlton and the Maine Electric Power Co. ..."Northern Maine customers will be held harmless," he stressed. "Northern Maine delivery rates can't go up - that is our goal. If that doesn't happen, this project is a no-go."