Articles filed under General from Maine
Horizon Wind Energy hopes to build as many as 400 wind turbines in the farm fields and forests of Aroostook County, thereby transforming northern Maine from a producer of world-class potatoes to the premier exporter of wind energy in the northeastern United States. ...Horizon Wind's private negotiations with landowners, while necessary from a business sense, have created uncertainty among some in the communities. That uncertainty has bred concern, mistrust and even fear of this out-of-state corporation. Some locals worry that the sight of so many wind towers could deter hunters, fishermen, snowmobilers and other tourists who previously made the long trek north to enjoy the "wilds" of Aroostook County.
A Western Foothills Land Trust official said Thursday that as owner of the 150-acre Roberts Farm Preserve on Pike's Hill, it has no interest in hosting a wind farm. "We were never interested in putting any wind power on the 150-acre site," said Lee Dassler, land trust coordinator, after reading a story in the Sun Journal about Norway resident Wes Wentworth investigating the possible placement of a turbine on 10.5 acres next to the preserve. The 150-acre site will eventually be opened for recreational trails, Dassler said.
Almost nothing is known for sure about how offshore wind turbines being proposed for the Gulf of Maine would affect lobster and groundfish habitats and migrations. Experts on tapping the energy inherent in Maine's strong offshore winds who met recently in Northport agree that's a problem. Giant wind turbines located 20 miles or more offshore would generate underwater noise and vibration. The underwater cables that will link the turbines to the mainland would also generate an electromagnetic field. ..."It's something to be concerned about, but how concerned, we don't know," he said. "It's a difficult thing to study."
Representatives of Blue H USA have been talking with state leaders about their plans to locate a complex of wind turbines somewhere in the Gulf of Maine. An exact location has not been selected yet, Blue H officials said, but any site likely would be far enough at sea so that the large turbines would not be visible from land. "What we're trying to do is focus in and find an appropriate location in the state of Maine that will have minimal impact on the fisheries and the environment," Raymond Dackerman, general manager for the company, said Thursday.
Two of Maine's largest power-distribution companies, Central Maine Power and Maine Public Service, ...want to spend $2 billion to upgrade their transmission systems in projects that would broaden hundreds of miles of existing power line corridors and create new ones from Canada to Maine. ...Central Maine Power is asking ISO New England, the private body that oversees New England's electrical grid, to help share the cost.
More than anyone thought. Considered one of the most productive ecosystems in the world, experts urge caution when it comes to oil drilling and other threats.
In Vermont the parties are still waiting for a decision on the Sheffield project, which was argued before the high court in May. A clerk at the Supreme Court said Tuesday she has no idea when a decision might be announced. Meanwhile, the opponents of big wind in western New York believe they are finally getting the recognition they deserve with this month's announcement by the AG's office in Albany.
CMP and Maine Public Service Co., which services northern Maine, have also announced a separate, joint project to connect a proposed 1,000-megawatt wind generation project in northern Maine to the CMP power grid and other parts of the New England grid to the south. The plan for the new power lines grew out of study undertaken by CMP, which looked at overall reliability of the electric power transmission system. It found that without significant changes in demand patterns, transmission capacity or new supply, serious problems would emerge as early as 2012.
Water district officials hope a test will show that the eastern bank of Lake Auburn is a prime spot for an energy-generating wind turbine. The district has applied for a grant to place a wind gauge along the lake behind the pump station buildings, on a plot north of Central Maine Community College. "The way it looks on paper, we'd be an ideal spot for a wind turbine," said John Storer, assistant water district superintendent. "But people have run into that problem before, and places that look like they should get plenty of wind are not generating enough power. So we need to test it, to see if it's even feasible for our site." The grant would be managed by the University of Maine.
Boisvert said future projects only will result in more spending as the utility carries out needed improvements. She also said one of the most expensive projects on the horizon could be the proposed Coos County Loop. She said this project requires the transmission lines in Coos County to be upgraded so new biomass, wind and solar power generated there can be transported to Southern New Hampshire and other states as needed. Boisvert said PSNH has to carry out that project to meet the state's Renewable Portfolio Standards approved by state lawmakers. ... It has yet to be determined if the costs will be borne by PSNH ratepayers, New Hampshire state taxpayers or shouldered by customers of member utility companies that make up ISO-New England throughout the Northeast. "There's no definitive answer," Boisvert said.
State regulators gave final approval Wednesday to a $270 million wind farm and transmission line proposed for the mountains of rural Franklin County. TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. plans to erect 44 wind turbines on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range, located near the Canadian border just east of Coburn Gore. The land is a working forest owned by Plum Creek Timber Co. ...The Kibby project also did not encounter vocal opposition from local residents concerned about noise from the enormous turbines. The nearest residence to the Kibby project is 1.2 miles away. Construction of the wind farm and 115-kilovolt transmission line is expected to require construction of 17 miles of gravel roads.
TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) has received final development plan approval for its Kibby wind power project from Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission. The Calgary-based company said it has now begun to prepare construction plans for the 132-megawatt wind project.
The Maine Land Use Regulation Commission is expected to give its approval this week to the final development plan for a proposed 44-turbine wind power project near the Canadian border in western Maine. ...Transcanada said it hopes to begin construction this summer and have the wind farm fully operational by the fall of 2010.
Brent Boyles, president and CEO of Maine Public Service, said the northern Maine transmission line upgrade is tied to Horizon Wind Energy's proposed development of up to 800 megawatts of wind energy in The County. That proposal, which would comprise several separate projects, would transform the landscape of Aroostook County with 400 wind turbines - each standing roughly 400 feet tall - dotting farm fields and hillsides. A subsidiary of Horizon Wind, Aroostook Wind Energy, has been busy lining up willing landowners, but opposition to the unprecedented project is brewing. Boyles said the two transmission line projects, combined with Horizon Wind's proposal, would generate thousands of construction jobs and funnel tens of millions of dollars into municipal coffers.
Two utilities on Tuesday proposed $1.9 billion worth of electric infrastructure improvements to ensure reliability of the existing power grid as well as to connect northern Maine to the New England power grid for the first time. ...A study has indicated that the existing power grid serving CMP customers will no longer operate reliably beyond 2012 without the improvements, Burns said. Meanwhile, residents of northern Maine have not enjoyed the potential fruits of electric deregulation because Maine Public Service Co. is not connected to the rest of the New England power grid.
First Wind's Stetson Mountain project is unnecessarily creating congestion on Maine's New England power grid transmission lines, thanks to state policymakers' rush to create more wind energy in the state, an anti-wind energy group's leader charged Sunday. ..."Through discussions with the state PUC [Public Utilities Commission] we were able to learn that our transmission rights weren't going to be jeopardized," Stetson said. "In layman's terms, they [First Wind] were going to have to take a back seat to our transmission needs."
About 70 people attended Independence Wind LLC's presentation Tuesday night at the Roxbury town office on new information about their proposed Record Hill Wind wind-power project. By 8:30 p.m. - two-hours into the presentation - the meeting was still going on, with Resource Systems Engineering founder and president, engineer Charles F. Wallace Jr. answering questions about perceived noise problems from a project that has yet to be built. Record Hill Wind principals have yet to even choose a wind turbine model, several of which will be placed atop Record Hill in Roxbury if residents in the future OK a land-use ordinance change permitting wind power facilities.
"After we completed our due diligence, we got the green light from the investors that the project was a go to the next [permitting] stage," Tudan said Thursday, "but when we went to register the site with ISO-New England, we were told that the Stetson Mountain wind farm project had registered before us and that had maxed out any available access to the [grid] at this time." ..."There's no bitter tears here toward First Wind about it," Tudan said. "That's the marketplace, though I feel very bad about how it went because we had a beautiful project."
A year later than the last decision, and by exactly the same margin, residents have voted to reject a commercial development review ordinance that could have hampered plans to build three wind turbines on Beaver Ridge. First Selectwoman Carol Richardson reported that Tuesday's vote was 117 for the ordinance, 164 against. Last year, residents voted against the measure by a 159-112 vote. ...Opponents of the turbines have warned that they will disrupt a rural way of life. The turbines are noisy, and people living near them have reported sleep disruption, dizziness, ringing in the ears and problems concentrating.
Kathryn Swegart's letter concerned former Gov. Angus King's proposal to research the feasibility to build 1,000 wind turbines 26 miles off the coast of Maine. Just wondering, has King lost his mind? The cost of $15 billion is astronomical and with the rising costs of steel, copper for windings, not to mention the maintenance cost being 26 miles off the coast. This is just plain nuts. ...The United States produces more power from geothermal energy than solar and wind combined. This type of power is definitely under-utilized. Wind power is not the answer; any expert in the power generation field will tell you that it's too intermittent. It's time to get real about our energy concerns in this state and explore all options but leave the crackpot ideas on the table.