Library filed under General from Maine

Opponents Of Black Nubble Wind Project Ask For Recusal

Opponents of the proposed Black Nubble Wind Farm near Sugarloaf USA want at least one member of Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission to step down from discussions of the project. The complaint cites a call made by Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan to one member of the board after its preliminary vote last January against an earlier version of the plan.
18 Sep 2007

Conflict in the WIND

A study completed this year by the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences, found conflicts like those in Maine are widespread because of a fundamental reality of wind power. The environmental costs -- visual impacts, noise, landscape and wildlife disturbances -- are primarily felt by those near the wind farm. The benefits, however -- reduced global warming emissions and other air pollution, less dependence on foreign oil and less mining and drilling -- are felt more on the global scale. "Benefits and (costs) don't necessarily affect the same people," said David Policansky, who directed the study. "If you talk to a national representative of an environmental organization, it's quite likely that person will be in favor. Whereas, when you talk to a local representative, it is more likely that person will be opposed to some local project." It's a dynamic that is clearly playing out in Maine.
17 Sep 2007

Wind developers visit, announce public hearing date

Representatives from TransCanada visited the Original Irregular office Wednesday, Sept. 5. The purpose of the visit (the third visit of this kind) was to keep us informed on the latest progress on their wind power development project proposed in Kibby and Skinner townships. Of notable interested, Nick Di domenico of TransCanada broke the news to us that there is now a Land Use Regulation Commission Public Hearing scheduled for Oct. 2, 3 and 4 at Sugarloaf/USA.
12 Sep 2007

Still fighting wind mills in the Western Mountains

Allowing the western mountaintops of Maine to become industrialized havens of wind power to achieve what are likely to be relatively small energy gains, given ever increasing energy demands, is simply a bad economic bargain. The fact that such a plan is being considered is indicative of the kind of greed and arrogant attitudes toward the rest of nature that is causing many of our current problems. Rather than focusing on policies, laws, and new patterns of behavior that promote conservation, the human appetite for energy seems to grow exponentially. Meanwhile, other species of animals and plants are dying at an alarming rate as we continue to destroy their natural habitats.
5 Sep 2007

County panel endorses Black Nubble wind project

Commissioners unanimously voted Tuesday to support Maine Mountain Power's Black Nubble Mountain Wind Farm proposed for northern Franklin County between Saddleback and Sugarloaf ski mountains. ...Public hearings on the new proposal are set for Wednesday, Sept. 19, Thursday, Sept. 20, and Friday, Sept. 21, if necessary, at Sugarloaf Grand Summit Conference in Carrabassett Valley.
5 Sep 2007

Wind project returns to table Black Nubble project slated for public hearings

AUGUSTA -- A smaller version of a wind farm proposal that generated a storm of controversy last year is slated to go to public hearings in September. The Black Nubble Wind Farm, which calls for 18 wind turbines on the western Maine mountain, will go before the public Sept. 19 and 20 and, if more time is needed, on Sept. 21 at the Sugarloaf Grand Summit Conference Center in Carrabassett Valley. That Black Nubble project is a smaller version of the Redington wind farm, which called for placing 30 turbines on both Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble.
22 Aug 2007

Details emerge on wind farm

TransCanada Energy Ltd. representatives and others gave a tour this week of the area targeted for a proposed $270 million wind farm in Kibby and Skinner townships. TransCanada has submitted a petition to the state Land Use Regulation Commission to rezone 2,908 acres to allow for a 44-turbine wind farm with access roads, transmission lines and other features. The hearing on the proposal is scheduled Oct. 2-4 at Sugarloaf/USA, TransCanada Project Manager Nick Di domenico said. Friends of the Boundary Mountains have filed for intervenor status to oppose the project, he said, while the Maine Audubon Society, Natural Resources Council of Maine and Appalachian Mountain Club have filed in favor of it.
18 Aug 2007

Freedom landowners appeal to end wind power project

FREEDOM - Landowners in the area of a proposed wind turbine development have filed another appeal to try and shut the project down. Steve Bennett, Erin Bennett-Wade and Jeff Keating argue in a letter filed to town officials this week that the company that seeks to install the turbines can only do so by trespassing over private property. "The decision of the (Code Enforcement Officer) and the planning board should therefore be reversed," the three wrote to the Board of Appeals.
11 Aug 2007

LURC forum targets wind farm noise

LEE, Maine - The developer of a wind farm proposed for northern Washington County told state regulators Wednesday that noise levels from the massive turbines are expected to be well within legal limits. Representatives of UPC Wind Management described Stetson Mountain - located between the communities of Danforth and Springfield - as an excellent location for a wind energy facility because of the remote location, existing road network and steady winds. "No site is ideal in every respect, but from our perspective, Stetson comes as close to ideal as you can get for wind energy," Dave Cowan, vice president for environmental affairs with UPC, told members of the Land Use Regulation Commission.
9 Aug 2007

Eastern Maine residents give wind farm plan mixed reviews

LEE - Residents spoke for and against a $100 million wind farm being proposed for far eastern Maine when the Land Use Regulation Commission held its first public hearing on the project Tuesday. Evergreen Wind Power is seeking a zoning change to build 38 wind turbines on Stetson Mountain, a ridge line that runs about six miles along the border between northern Washington County and Penobscot County between Danforth and Springfield.
9 Aug 2007

Caucus plans forum on wind power plans

The Western Maine Legislative Caucus will sponsor a free public breakfast forum on proposed wind energy projects in northern Franklin County at 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24, at the University of Maine Farmington, Olsen Student Center. The forum will include presenters with different perspectives on the two projects and wind energy in general.
8 Aug 2007

Concerns heard about wind farm

LEE, Maine - Dale Wheaton said he has nothing against wind energy. But as the owner of a traditional sporting lodge, Wheaton doesn't regard 400-foot-tall wind turbines on the horizon of a lake where he takes clients as a benefit to his business. Rather, Wheaton described those hypothetical turbines as a blemish on the natural beauty that drew his clients to the region in the first place. "From my perspective, will it put me out of business? No, it won't," Wheaton, owner of Wheaton's Lodge in Forest City, said Tuesday evening. "Will it make the experience less for my clients? Absolutely." Wheaton was one of nearly a dozen people who expressed concern at a public hearing Tuesday night about Evergreen Wind Power's plans to build a 38-turbine wind farm on Stetson Mountain in rural, northern Washington County. But for nearly every critic of the plan among the 80 people in attendance at Lee Academy there was someone like Kirk Ritchie, a small-business owner and local selectman who believes the estimated $100 million project will benefit the local economy.
8 Aug 2007

Wind Farm Hearing To Be Held In Lee

LEE (AP) -- The Land Use Regulation Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening in Lee on what would be New England's largest wind farm. Evergreen Wind Power wants to erect 38 turbines along a ridgeline on Stetson Mountain that runs alongside Route 169 in northern Washington County, about midway between Springfield and Danforth. Evergreen's parent company, UPC Wind Management, says the project could generate 57 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power more than 27,000 households. UPC Wind also operates the Mars Hill wind farm in Aroostook County, which has been fully operational since March. Its latest project has a price tag of $100 million.
7 Aug 2007

American resident warns of dangers of wind farms

PUGWASH - Opponents of a proposed wind farm on the Gulf Shore got more fuel for the fire Friday night. Mark Harris, a pastor from Bridgewater, Maine, spoke Friday night at the Ground Search and Rescue in Pugwash about how a wind farm in Mars Hill, Maine has terrorized locals. He bought property in Mars Hill roughly 1200 feet away from the turbines, but hasn't done anything with it because of how unbearable the sound and strobing from them is. "Many of the mills we have, on certain days when the wind comes from a certain direction and the humidity is such and such, it will be all but silent at 1200 feet away where my home site would be. But come back the next day and it'll pound until you can't tolerate being there and there's no predicting when that will happen," he said. He said the wind farm has wreaked havoc on the town, with many people now dealing with health complications allegedly caused by the turbines' sounds and shadows.
6 Aug 2007

Stetson Mountain wind farm focus of LURC public hearing

The Land Use Regulation Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday evening on an energy company's plans to build a $100 million wind farm in northern Washington County. The commission will begin hearing public comments on the proposed Stetson Mountain wind farm at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Lee Academy in the town of Lee. LURC will reconvene at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to hear from the developer, Evergreen Wind Power, and officially recognized parties. Evergreen Wind Power, a subsidiary of UPC Wind Management, is seeking LURC authorization to build what would be New England's largest wind farm on a ridgeline that runs alongside Route 169 about halfway between Springfield and Danforth.
4 Aug 2007

Baldacci tells commissioners to avoid improper contacts

After Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan admitted he improperly discussed a pending case with a Land Use Regulation commissioner, Gov. John Baldacci has ordered his cabinet members to undergo refresher training on discussions with regulatory agencies. "They got to be reminded," Baldacci said in an interview Thursday. "Guidance is being provided through the Attorney General's Office and what I have done is direct the counsel, Mike Mahoney, my counsel, to work with the guidance that has been provided with the other commissioners and make sure they all know." Baldacci said several commissioners, including McGowan, have regulatory bodies within their agencies. All cabinet members need to be sure that any contact they have with regulators is within the limits of the process established by the agencies.
3 Aug 2007

Utilities mull transmission line to tap northern Maine wind power

Central Maine Power and Maine Public Service have asked the ISO New England to review the feasibility of a transmission line that would link northern Maine with the regional grid and create a path for wind power to flow to load centers in southern New England. Tim Brown, MPS director of corporate planning and regulatory affairs, said Thursday that the line, expected to be in excess of 100 miles, would allow transmission of more than 500 MW of wind power, most of it still in planning. While the idea of connecting northern Maine to the regional grid has been discussed for years, it has taken on a new significance given the difficulty utilities and merchant generators have encountered when they've attempted to build plants in the high-demand southern New England states. In addition to growing demand, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have renewable portfolio standards, which create pressure for more large scale wind. But no major projects have been built in southern New England. In northern Maine, about 42 MW of wind is operating and an additional 500 MW has been proposed. If the line is not built, Brown said wind electricity in northern Maine could be routed into Canada then into southern New England. That, however, would require major upgrades to grid interface between MPS and New Brunswick Power. Brown said the utilities expect the ISO impact study to be completed by the end of 2007.
2 Aug 2007

Empty Wind?

The town of Mars the test bed for all that is good and not so good about wind power in Maine. ... With the failure of two other wind power proposals - a thirty-turbine project in Redington Township outside Rangeley and a three-unit installation in the town of Freedom in central Maine - the Mars Hill experience raises the question of wind power's future in the state. An energy technology praised as the green alternative to fossil fuels and one of the solutions to global climate change has produced controversies that have split the environmental community in Maine and made enemies of natural allies.
28 Jul 2007
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