Library filed under General from Maine

Home-grown energy generates hot neighbors and ill winds

We had to see this one coming. Tempers are flaring in a Scarborough subdivision about one homeowner's new yard ornaments: solar panels mounted on 10- foot-tall metal poles. Laurence Gardner said his family installed the photovoltaic panels to reduce pollution and slow global warming. Some neighbors, however, say the structures have spoiled the scenery, dragged down property values and violated the homeowners' covenant. Why do the words "billable hours" come to mind?
28 Jul 2007

A little dam history

If we really need "green power" so badly then we might as well rebuild the Edwards Dam across the Kennebec River in Augusta. Sound absurd? Well it is no more absurd than promoting industrial wind-power development in the protected mountain areas of Maine. The Land Use Regulation Commission created mountain protection areas above 2,700 feet in 1972 for the simple reason that industrial development was not environmentally acceptable in the fragile alpine and subalpine areas of the Maine mountains.
27 Jul 2007

Panel backs wind project

Franklin County commissioners signed a letter to support the Kibby Wind Power project slated for Kibby and Skinner townships in the northern section of the county, not far from the Canadian border. The commission unanimously voted to support the project on July 3 and Commissioners Fred Hardy of New Sharon and Meldon Gilmore of Freeman Township endorsed the letter to be sent to Catherine Carroll, director of the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission, Tuesday. Commissioner Gary McGrane of Jay had signed the letter earlier. TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc. proposes to build a 44-turbine wind farm on Kibby Mountain and Kibby Range. The LURC staff is currently reviewing the company's petition to rezone about 2,908 acres to a planned development subdistrict for the wind farm.
26 Jul 2007

NStar’s wind plan is illegal, rival says

Boston utility NStar's plan to let customers buy wind-generated electricity is running into a gale of opposition from a rival "green power" provider, who said yesterday NStar's program would violate state law. Although Attorney General Martha Coakley and the Conservation Law Foundation, a Boston legal-environmental group, are backing the NStar plan, Larry Chretien, executive director of the Massachusetts Energy Consumers Alliance, said it violates the 1997 state utility restructuring law. That law, Chretien said, limits utilities to being "distribution companies" that deliver power that customers buy through the utility from independent third-party energy producers and means NStar can't legally become the supplier of power through contracts with wind farms in upstate New York and Maine. NStar plans to begin offering wind power by Jan. 1, pending state approval.
26 Jul 2007

NStar plans to offer wind power alternative

The Boston utility NStar plans to allow its residential and small business customers to buy their electricity from environmentally friendly wind farms - for a price. In a first of its kind for Massachusetts utilities, NStar is proposing to let its 1.1 million electric customers in Boston and 80 eastern Massachusetts cities and towns buy their power directly from a wind farm in upstate New York and a second under development in Maine. Because the wind farms are more expensive than conventional sources like coal and nuclear power, a typical homeowner would pay a premium of about $7.50 to $15 monthly. The program, being announced today, will need approval from state utility regulators before it is launched, which could be as soon as Jan. 1.
24 Jul 2007

LURC Receives Revised Black Nubble Only Project Proposal

Maine Mountain Power formally filed a revised proposal with the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission on Tuesday, July 10. The proposal is to develop a 54-megawatt, 18-turbine wind power project on Black Nubble Mountain near Sugarloaf/USA and MMP has jointly announced with the Natural Resource Council of Maine an agreement to permanently restrict wind power development on nearby Redington Pond Range. According to a MMP release, if the Black Nubble Wind Farm is approved and built, a restrictive covenant will prohibit the development of wind power on the last undeveloped and unprotected 4,000-foot peak in Maine.
18 Jul 2007

Help us protect the western Maine mountains

The Friends of the Boundary Mountains are opposed to the TransCanada request to rezone Kibby Mountain and the Kibby Range from a "protected mountain zone" to a zone that permits industrial development, which would enable the construction of a 44-tower wind power project. FBM invites the public to attend an evening of information and a free spaghetti dinner at the Stratton-Eustis Community Building on Friday, July 20 at 6 p.m. The purpose of the dinner is to explain FBM's reasons for opposing this wind project.
18 Jul 2007

Planning board approves turbines in Freedom

FREEDOM -- After more than a year of debate, members of the Planning Board on Thursday night approved a Portland company's bid to erect three electricity generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge. But, according to a neighbor who has opposed the project, town approval was easier than state approval will be.
14 Jul 2007

LURC members tour wind farm in Mars Hill to gain perspective

Members of the Land Use Regulation Commission had a chance to see and hear some of the positives and negatives of wind energy on Thursday as they toured the Mars Hill wind farm in central Aroostook County. Because Mars Hill is located outside of Maine's Unorganized Territory, the wind farm is not within LURC's jurisdiction. But the commissioners and staff hoped the tour would offer valuable perspective as they review three major wind-energy proposals, including one by the operators of the Mars Hill facility.
13 Jul 2007

Federal power surge

"Maine is prepared to host thousands of megawatts of generation capacity from wind and biomass" to serve southern New England's "insatiable appetite for energy," Gov. John Baldacci wrote in a letter to the state's congressional delegation. "However, the development of these resources for New England must not harm Maine consumers or adversely impact our environment, which is the cornerstone of our economy," he wrote. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are working with Sen. Thune to ensure the intent of the amendment - to ensure wind power projects have access to transmission lines - is met without overruling the interests of host states and maybe even assuring that such states' ratepayers benefit as well.
12 Jul 2007

Scaled-Down Wind Project To Be Filed With State

PORTLAND, Maine -- A scaled-down proposal for a wind farm in Maine's western mountains is being filed Tuesday with the Land Use Regulation Commission. The latest plan by Maine Mountain Power follows LURC's rejection of its broader plan that included wind turbines along the Redington Pond Range. Some environmental groups had opposed that aspect of the plan, saying it threatened to ruin scenic vistas enjoyed by hikers. The latest project on Black Nubble Mountain calls for 18 wind turbines that would generate 54 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 20,000 homes a year. That's more than any other wind power installation now operating in New England. Twenty environmental, economic, health and faith-based organizations plan to announce their support for the project at a news conference on Tuesday in Portland.
10 Jul 2007

New wind farm plant wins support

About 20 environmental, business, health and faith-based organizations are expected to announce their support this morning for a new scaled-down wind farm plan near the Sugarloaf USA ski resort. The news conference is timed to coincide with the formal filing of the Black Nubble Mountain wind farm proposal by Maine Mountain Power. The proposal is the scaled-down version of a more controversial plan for turbines on the Redington Pond Range and Black Nubble.
10 Jul 2007

Emissions, regulation, siting among legislative priorities in Northeast

Legislators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic passed a number of bills applying to the electric power industry, with several states committing to emissions reductions through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other states making broad organizational changes to their regulatory processes.
6 Jul 2007

Cross-border electricity corridor going forward

AUGUSTA — A new study of the legalities and logistics of an electrical utility partnership involving Maine and New Brunswick shows no significant barriers to such a cross-border collaboration. It also shows “significant economic and environmental benefits” are possible on both sides of the border through closer coordination in the production and transmission of electricity.
5 Jul 2007

CES not taking high ground

I also reject the notion that this debate is about efforts to reduce global warming, and the opposition to the project is a return of NIMBYism (Not in My Backyard). The debate, in my mind, was and still is about process, and whether a small town is able and prepared to understand the need to treat all landowners fairly, and the importance of planning tools like ordinances to facilitate a fair process. By supporting the repeal as a way to circumvent accountability, CES may get the high ground on Beaver Ridge for its turbines, but in no way did CES take the high ground in serving all residents of Freedom with respect and fairness as it struggled to meet the needs of this project and to plan for appropriate development in the future.
3 Jul 2007

Turbines are closer to permit

FREEDOM - The Portland company hoping to erect three electricity-generating wind turbines on Beaver Ridge has reapplied for a town permit. This time, without a commercial development ordinance posing a stumbling block, the project appears on the fast-track to fruition.
29 Jun 2007

New application for wind power in Freedom

Competitive Energy Services has reapplied for permission to erect three wind turbines on Beaver Ridge. The town received Competitive Energy's application to build the turbines in a thick binder delivered by Federal Express Monday evening, said Town Clerk Cindy Abbott. The planning board is scheduled to consider the application and likely give its approval on July 12.
28 Jun 2007

Members named to wind power task force

The 16 members of the Governor's Task Force on Wind Power Development in Maine have been named. "I expect great things from the members of this Task Force," Governor John E. Baldacci said. "They are extremely talented and experienced, and they have the abilities necessary to advance the development of wind power in Maine."
28 Jun 2007

Unplugging the myths of our energy future

If we focus on just the United States, with 300 million people and 100 quadrillion Btu of energy, the consumption per person jumps by a factor of five: 100 100-watt light bulbs. To be sure, this energy is not consumed in the form of electricity, but in the form of gasoline, coal, hydro power, etc. Yet many people project that this magnitude of energy consumption can be sustained by energy sources such as solar collectors on roofs, biofuel from switchgrass, and wind farms. These people simply can't do arithmetic.
16 Jun 2007

Despite appeal of wind energy, projects have foes

Stetson Mountain is more ridgeline than mountain, running like a backbone for six miles through the rolling hills that dominate Washington County's northernmost border with Canada. Moderate winds sweep across those hills from Canada and pick up speed as they zoom up Stetson Mountain, which at roughly 1,100 feet is among the tallest ridges in this sparsely peopled corner of Maine. That combination of high winds and low population has one company seeing green.
16 Jun 2007
back to top