Library filed under General from Maine
Horizon Wind has proposed a massive (800 megawatts) wind energy facility for the northern reaches of Maine in Aroostook County near the Canadian border. Click on the link below to download a copy of the lease agreement Horizon has offered landowners who might have turbines or met towers erected on their land.
Washington County officials have given a boost to a power project planned for northern Washington County and set a milestone in Maine by becoming the first county in the state to establish a tax increment financing district in the Unorganized Territory. By approving the TIF district for the Evergreen Wind Power project on remote Stetson Mountain, the Washington County commissioners will get to keep approximately $3.8 million of the $9.4 million in tax revenue generated by the project over the next 20 years. The county will use its share of the taxes for other economic development projects in Washington County and return the remaining $5.6 million to Evergreen for reinvestment in the project.
Environmental leaders and state energy officials are excited about all the interest in wind power, and all are learning more about it, thanks to Mars Hill. But the project has critics in its hometown. A group of about 18 homeowners in Mars Hill is angry about loud noise that is produced by the wind turbines. The neighbors say the noise is not consistent, that it can vary with weather and wind conditions. At times, it's almost inaudible. But at other thimes, they say, the noise can reach over 50 decibels in their homes, disturbing sleep and making life uncomfortable. ...the Town Manager of Mars Hill says he believes future wind projects should have guidelines for how close wind turbines are placed to homes. He says a turbine within 2,500 feet should have to get a noise easement from the homeowner, to avoid problems with complaints later on.
Two meteorological studies under way on area peaks could yield an affordable, pollution-free option for producing some of New England's electricity. Brunswick-based Independence Wind LLC, a Maine company formed to create large-scale wind projects in Maine and elsewhere in New England, partnered this summer with area landowner Bayroot LLC and its land manager, Wagner Forest Management of Lyme, N.H. They formed a company called Record Hill Wind LLC, which wants to develop wind power on a portion of Bayroot's lands in Byron and Roxbury.
For nearly three hours Wednesday night, former Maine Gov. Angus King and Robert Gardiner answered a variety of questions from about 60 people on their proposed $80 million to $150 million wind farm project in Byron and Roxbury. ..."It's ironic. You're being asked to support a wind-power plant when there is no electricity at Garland Pond," King answered, speaking to many Garland Pond camp owners who wondered aloud how the project would serve their interests. "Your taxes will probably go down." "Everything isn't about money," answered Coulombe's mother, Karen Gallant of Rumford, to which King readily agreed.
As consumers, we pay the full market price for wind-generated electricity plus the value of renewable energy credits mandated by the Legislature. As federal taxpayers, we donate another two cents per kWh, and support the fast depreciation (tax savings) allowed wind installation entrepreneurs. Mars Hill’s units produce 1 percent of Maine’s electricity and 0.01 percent of New England’s. The Kibby Mountain proposal of 44 three-MW units is projected to produce about .37 billion kWh per year. The number of kilowatt-hours supplied by the wind is very small. The combined output from Mars Hill and Kibby Mountain would be about 5 percent of Maine’s or .5 percent of the total New England grid. The real cost of wind energy, if broken out on our electric bill, would be a shock.
State regulators unanimously approved a proposal Wednesday to build New England's largest wind farm on a remote ridgeline in northern Washington County. ...Stetson Mountain is located in a sparsely populated area of Washington County's northernmost border with Penobscot County and Canada. It's a scenic area with rolling, heavily forested hills that help support the local timber industry. Hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and other forms of outdoor recreation are also an important part of both local culture and the regional economy. So UPC's proposal to build 38 wind turbines, each standing nearly 400 feet tall, has not gone over well with everyone. ...Opponents also raised concerns about noise from the turbines, which has been a problem for some homeowners near the Mars Hill farm.
Land Use Regulation Commission unanimously approved the zoning request for a 57-megawatt project on Stetson Mountain, a ridge line that stretches between Danforth and Springfield in northern Washington County. The applicant, Evergreen Wind Power, has already built the region's largest operating wind farm -- a 42-megawatt, 28-turbine project in Mars Hill, Maine, that started generating power earlier this year. Evergreen is a subsidiary of UPC Wind Management of Newton, Mass.
The company planning to put three electricity-generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge has explored adding more. Andy Price, project manager for Portland-based Competitive Energy Services, said his company explored the possibilities of adding more turbines with an abutting landowner. Price declined to specify whether that exploration will continue in the future. "At this point I want to leave it at the fact we have three turbines approved and we're looking forward to proceeding with that," Price said.
Staff at the Land Use Regulation Commission have recommended approval of a 38-turbine wind farm in northern Washington County that, if built today, would be New England's largest wind-energy facility. LURC staff said the Stetson Mountain wind farm - proposed for a forested ridgeline between the communities of Danforth and Springfield - would have "low potential" for undue impacts on natural resources or public use of the area. ...A group of local residents expressed concern about impacts on wildlife, the possibility of wells fracturing during construction and fire risks from the turbines. Opponents also expressed worries about noise from the turbines, which has been an issue in Mars Hill, and how visual impacts from the turbines will affect the outdoor recreation industry.
Many people, including the editors of the Sentinel, think that the group of neighbors who oppose the wind turbine project in Freedom do so because they do not want it in their backyard. The issue is far more complicated than that. Here are some of the facts that the Sentinel should have researched if it were to write a legitimate editorial.
While Maine Audubon and the Appalachian Mountain Clubs, organizations I belong to, support this project, their own siting criteria do not. Potential soil damage, loss of backcountry recreational potential, habitat fragmentation, view impact and degradation of a valuable sub-alpine spruce-fir community are being ignored. This project creates a precedent of industrial development in delicate, protected habitats, and permanent degradation of a remote, undeveloped resource. All of Maine will feel the impact of industrializing a protected mountain zone.
Pleas to keep the natural beauty of Maine's mountains were countered by requests for alternative energy sources as during a second night of public hearings Wednesday on a $270 million wind power project. Gathering in the Base Lodge at Sugarloaf ski area, the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission listened as a smaller group than Tuesday spoke about a proposal to rezone about 2,908 acres for TransCanada's commercial wind energy project in northern Franklin County. TransCanada Energy Ltd. wants to build a 44-turbine wind power facility on the southern portion of Kibby Mountain and on Kibby Range Mountain in Kibby and Skinner townships north of Eustis and south of Canada.
Kibby Mountain is just far enough off the grid of our conciousness that we, including our environmental defender friends, can apparently afford to sacrifice it for a few extra watts of juice to power our washing machines, stereos and HDTVs. Ain't that nice? Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy don't it? Think I'm gonna pick a nice warm sunny late October day and make the drive up north to Kibby Mountain for a hike. Make it a wake of sorts. To pay last respects to a mountain that will soon cease to exist as we know it.
"(The project) would introduce into what is now a region with virtually no permanent structures, machines that tower above the treetops and extend from the northern to the southern boundary of Kibby Township, not to mention the 27-mile transmission line from the project site to Stratton," Kimber told the commissioners. "This would be development and land conversion on an unprecedented scale."
The Land Use Regulation Commission has scheduled three days of public hearings for a proposal to rezone two parcels of land to build the Kibby Wind Power Project. ... If the proposal is approved, construction on 44 wind turbines, each roughly 41 stories high, could begin on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range in Franklin County in early 2008, according to TransCanada, the Canadian energy company that has proposed the project. The installation would be the biggest of its type in Maine, with a capacity of about 132 megawatts, roughly three times the size of the 42-megawatt wind power project in Mars Hill.
New England ISO (NE ISO) control area includes the six states of New England (CT, RI, MA, ME, NH, VT).
State land use regulators will hold a public hearing Oct. 2-4 on a petition to rezone about 2,908 acres for TransCanada's proposed commercial wind energy project in far northern Franklin County. TransCanada Energy Ltd. wants to build a $270 million, 44-turbine wind power facility on the southern portion of Kibby Mountain and on Kibby Range Mountain in Kibby and Skinner townships north of Eustis and south of Canada.
Stephen White of Bethel said Wednesday morning that he was stepping aside to ensure that the debate over the Black Nubble project centers on the project itself and not on questions of whether he should be taking part. White's decision came as the commission began a scheduled three-day debate on the 18-turbine Black Nubble Wind Farm project proposed by Maine Mountain Power.
Patrick McGowan, commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation, said Tuesday he should not have called a Land Use Regulation Commission member to talk about a controversial wind farm proposal the day after the panel's preliminary vote against it.