Articles filed under General from Maine

Still no candidate for Roxbury selectman's seat

Regarding the wind power moratorium ordinance, Concerned Citizens to Save Roxbury submitted a petition bearing 89 signatures to selectmen three weeks after Roxbury town meeting voters passed a zoning amendment permitting wind turbines along the town's prominent ridgelines. Selectmen accepted the petition, which CCSR founder Linda Kuras said on Friday was filed following procedural irregularities surrounding the vote and inherent problems with the zoning amendment....Kuras' group will convene a public information forum starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 14 - three days prior to the special town meeting - to educate people about wind power and its ramifications to Roxbury.
9 Jun 2008

Wind power firm eyes town for expansion

As many as 35 electricity-generating windmills might be built in town by a Massachusetts firm that plans to meet with the Town Council later this month to discuss its plans. Evergreen Wind Power LLC, a subsidiary of UPC Wind of Massachusetts, will meet with the Town Council on June 16, Town Council Chairman Steve Clay and interim Town Manager Lisa Goodwin said. "They are coming to announce their intentions in this area," Clay said of the project. "It could mean a lot."
9 Jun 2008

Wind Farm Concerns

Construction is underway on a ten million dollar wind farm in Freedom... Though the project was already approved by the town, some residents think there should be ground rules in place before the turbines start turning. Jeff Keating is one of the residents pushing the town to adopt an ordinance that would impose restrictions on the wind farm project. The biggest concerns being noise and the effect on property values.
5 Jun 2008

First phase of windmill farm energy project takes root in Benton County

One of the largest wind farms in the country will soon be climbing above the horizon in central Benton County. The Fowler Ridge Wind Farm project is a partnership between BP Alternative Energy and Dominion, one of the nation's largest energy companies. The first phase will feature 222 windmills, generating 400 megawatts of power. They will join the 87 windmills already operating in the western portion of Benton County, which was a joint venture between Orion Energy and Vision Energy, LLC.
30 May 2008

Legal status sought on Beaver Ridge roads

Ten people who own land near the proposed $12 million wind power project on Beaver Ridge have asked Waldo County Superior Court to rule that portions of three roads leading to the site are privately owned. The roads in question include Sibley Road Extension (also known as Clark Road), Beaver Ridge Road (also known as Beaver Hill Road), and Deer Hill Road (also known as Deer Hill Lane). It is believed that developer Beaver Ridge Wind LLC needs to use one of the three roads to bring equipment onto the proposed windmill site, and to erect a power line that will feed electricity generated there into the regional power grid. ..."Portions of all three of the roads were discontinued or abandoned," said Steve Bennett, who has led the fight against the windmills.
21 May 2008

Windmill project at heart of lawsuits in Freedom

Two lawsuits that could affect the wind turbine project have been brought against the town, weeks before residents will be asked to vote for a third time on the commercial development review ordinance that was repealed last year. In addition to the lawsuits, Jeff Keating started a petition to put the re-enactment of the commercial development review ordinance on the ballot for upcoming elections. According to Town Clerk Cindy Abbott, Keating turned in a petition containing 38 signatures.
20 May 2008

Bucksport: Panel wants more time to examine wind power

The town's energy committee wants a little more time and information before it makes any recommendations to the Town Council about how to proceed with plans for municipal wind power. The committee has been studying two proposals for wind turbines in town and had been scheduled to make a recommendation to the council last week. "The committee didn't want to make any decisions until they went to see the two facilities in Saco," Town Manager Roger Raymond said Tuesday. The two wind turbines in Saco are similar to the two the committee has been researching for the town, Raymond said.
14 May 2008

Good talk in Byron

Byron is doing the right thing about wind turbines, by wondering whether it wants to have them at all. It is a discussion more towns in Maine should start. ... Communities that wish to encourage wind power projects should say so. Those that will oppose one should say so too. There's little equity in Maine, which now has expedited reviews of wind projects for all its organized towns, to have more site-by-site fights. ...The irony is, by stopping a wind project, Byron is now showing the right way to approach one.
5 May 2008

No deal, Roxbury

Roxbury Selectman Mark Touchette suggested visiting Mars Hill. My husband and I chose a neutral area 400 miles away. The 220-foot windmill towers we visited were overwhelming. It was a reality check. The swooshing and clanging of those industrial machines as they rotated were alarming. There was a persistent humming, strobe light-like and flickering shadows swirling around the cleared land that surrounded each turbine. ... Rob Gardiner of Independence Wind is now going door-to-door peddling his goods, trying to sway residents into his pockets of this big business, money-making venture.
5 May 2008

Maine PUC chief stepping down

Chairman Kurt Adams of the Maine Public Utilities Commission is stepping down to work for a national wind development company. Adams will leave the state's utility regulatory panel on May 16. He's to become senior vice president for transmission development at First Wind, formerly UPC Wind.
1 May 2008

Watching financial winds

Construction could begin on the $270 million Kibby Wind Power project in August, assuming the economics fall into place, the developer said. Half of the 44-turbine plan could be completed by the fall of 2009. The other half of the Franklin County project should be done in the summer of 2010, said Nick Di Domenico, of TransCanada, director of the Kibby project. But while the development appears likely to move ahead, both TransCanada and state officials say wind power faces plenty of short-term challenges even as the longer term future remains bright. ...The high cost of construction and the volatility of energy costs is what makes the long-term viability of a project a difficult thing to predict.
28 Apr 2008

King pushes for offshore wind turbines

As governor, Angus King liked to pitch a big idea, like giving laptop computers to all seventh-graders. Now, as a wind energy entrepreneur, he's floating a whopper. King said Tuesday that the state should launch a massive research and development effort to create a $15 billion network of offshore wind turbines in the Gulf of Maine over the next 10 years. Only something as ambitious as 1,000 turbines spinning 26 miles off the Maine coast will be able to break the state's reliance on oil and prevent an economic catastrophe, he said.
16 Apr 2008

Too many questions are blowing about wind

We all support clean energy - but what if its expectations are unmet? Maine has one windmill project up and running in Mars Hill, with its share of controversy. There are additional projects proposed in other sections of Maine. The governor's wind power task force has proposed at least 2,000 megawatts within seven years, and an additional 1,000 megawatts within five years after that. I was a proponent of clean energy - something must be done for our environment. But after much discussion, a lot of listening and some research, I now have questions that must be answered before I can support any wind power project in Maine.
13 Apr 2008

MPS touts benefits of proposed power line

The Maine Power Connection, as it is called, could allow Aroostook County to become a renewable energy center for Maine and the rest of New England, Maine Public Service CEO Brent Boyles said in a telephone interview Friday. The Maine Public Service system now is separated by a 25-mile gap between its lines in Houlton and the Maine Electric Power Co. line that travels from Haynesville to southern and central Maine. Maine Public Service has transmission requests for more than 800 megawatts of potential wind generation projects. Connecting Maine Public Service to the New England grid with a 345-kilovolt transmission line would support those projects, Boyles said. ...But the Maine Power Connection was not developed initially to accommodate wind power. Instead, it was proposed as a possible solution to the lack of electricity generation competition in northern Maine, Boyles said. ...Maine Public Service also is analyzing the feasibility of a third 345-kilovolt transmission line to eastern Canada. ...The Maine Power Connection project relies heavily on the support of ISO-New England and its member utilities. If ISO-New England believes a project will enhance electric power reliability, then it allows the cost of the project to be divided among ratepayers. But if Maine pulls out of ISO-New England, Boyles said the project will be difficult to fund.
12 Apr 2008

MPS, CMP move ahead with detailed analysis of proposed power line

The goal is not only to link Maine Public Service with the regional power grid but also to provide capacity for proposed wind power projects totaling 800 megawatts, five times Maine Public Service's existing load. Aroostook's existing 42-megawatt wind power project on Mars Hill sends its electricity to Canada. The northern Maine power grid's isolation has been a barrier to competition. In December 2006, the Maine Public Utilities Commission's standard offer solicitation attracted only one bidder. ...The line, between 150 and 200 miles long, would cost between $400 million and $500 million, but it would be economically feasible with the participation of ISO-New England and its member utilities, officials said.
10 Apr 2008

Politics and other mistakes: Blown away

I'm sorry to inform you that there is an institution in Maine that repeatedly makes promises to the public, but rarely fulfills them. This same entity is also prone to issuing statements containing exaggerated claims about its accomplishments. And when it comes to the financial benefits it bestows on the public, let's just say its veracity is questionable. The Legislature? Don't be silly. The Legislature's veracity isn't questionable. It's nonexistent. I'm talking about the wind-power industry.
9 Apr 2008

Wind farm plans brewing in Aroostook County

A Texas company is courting Aroostook County landowners as it moves forward with plans for several large wind farms that could transform the landscape in some areas of northern Maine. Horizon Wind Energy's long-term plan envisions up to 400 turbines spinning in the farm fields and forests of Aroostook County. Company officials say they are focusing on a forested area west of Bridgewater. But Horizon officials are keeping mum on additional locations, adding only that most are agricultural or forested sites in eastern Aroostook County. ...Horizon, which is also operating locally under the subsidiary name Aroostook Wind Energy, has been quietly working on the project since 2005. ...Dawe said Horizon has received positive feedback from many landowners but that the company strives to be upfront and open about the project. "A wind power project is a large undertaking," he said. "Turbines are neither silent nor invisible."
5 Apr 2008

Freedom sees heated debate on legal fees

In their "Selectors Letter" in the town report, selectmen argued: "The budget committee has increased the legal services request in our administrative budget to $25,000 due to renewed legal challenges to the town over the windmill project on Beaver Ridge. Three lawsuits are now pending against the town by anti-windmill group (sic). One is over the status of the Sibley Road, one over the status of the building permit, and one over the Selectors' refusal to accept a petition to re-enact the Commercial Ordinance. The town has voted on the windmill issue three times now and enough is enough." The letter states that legal battles over this issue in the past have cost the town more than $8,600 in legal fees. That letter drew fire at town meeting from members of the Beaver Hill Landowners' Association, which distributed a letter of its own to residents before the meeting. The letter accuses the selectmen of making false statements, chiefly that there are three lawsuits pending against the town by the anti-windmill group. "In reality, there are no lawsuits pending with regard to either the status of the building permit or the Selectors' refusal to accept a petition to re-enact the Commercial Ordinance," the letter states. "We have only one request before the Court, to clarify the status of the last 1,000 feet of the Sibley Road, which, like many other roads, was discontinued by a town vote... We are not asking for money or damages from anyone in this request."
31 Mar 2008

Mars Hill wind farm completes first year of operation

Despite the Mars Hill wind project's success, there are some people in the community who have been opposed to it since the beginning. They say when the turbines are moving, it's just too noisy. "There's 18 families, and I happen to be one of them, that live within a mile of the complex, that listen to noise almost on a daily basis and it's a constant noise," said resident Rod Mahan. Pat McGowan says he understands their concerns, but the need for locally produced power in this time of high energy costs is important. "The folks are taking a risk in Maine and they're betting on these ridge lines and they're betting on renewal energy for a very very long time and that's important," said McGowan.
26 Mar 2008

Input sought on wind farm

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened a 30-day public comment period Tuesday on TransCanada's federal permit application for wind farm development work. TransCanada Maine Wind Development wants to build a $270 million, 44-turbine commercial wind farm on the ridge lines of Kibby Mountain and Kibby Mountain Range in northern Franklin County. It would have a total generating capacity of 132 megawatts. ...A new transmission line will extend 27.6 miles from the common substation to an existing substation adjacent to Route 27 at Carrabassett Valley. About 1,300 square feet of wetland will be permanently filled during pole placement and approximately 7.59 acres of wetland will be temporarily filled using timber mats to access pole locations.
20 Mar 2008
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