Library filed under General from Maine
A Portland-based environmental group hopes to convince Maine’s political candidates to pledge support for alternative energy and conservation. The group, Environment Maine, plans to collect petition signatures and approach state and congressional candidates with a proposed energy platform it says would reduce dependence on foreign oil and reduce global warming pollution. “Our nation desperately needs to change its course on energy,” said Jennifer Anderson of Environment Maine.
CARRABASSETT VALLEY - The Planning Board will hold a public hearing today on Maine Mountain Power LLC's proposal to construct power lines and roads to service its proposed wind farm. Maine Mountain Power, a partnership between Endless Energy Corp. in Yarmouth and Edison Mission Energy of California, want to develop a $150 million wind energy power system by installing 30 wind turbines - 12 on Redington Pond Range Mountain and 18 on Black Nubble Mountain in Redington Township.
Reeling a bit from the news their new school won’t be ready until the fall of 2009, SAD 3 board members also received some good news Monday night. Supt. Barbara Mosseau said Steve Cole of Coastal Enterprises Inc. has informed her the district is receiving a $60,000 grant from the Cox Trust. The money will be used to assist the district in determining whether wind power will be feasible in the energy mix at the new school. The district is already eyeing a wood chip boiler and board members think a windmill would be a good addition as well.
After years of warning that New England's electric grid was on the brink of having to impose Third World-style rolling blackouts, top power officials now cautiously predict the region may have enough power for the near future. Since February, thanks to recent policy changes, proposals for 21 new power plants that could deliver enough electricity for about 3 million homes have come before regional power grid administrators. Those include a $1.5 billion NRG Energy Inc. plan for multiple new generators in Connecticut and a single generator that would burn methane gas from a dump in Westminster, near Fitchburg. The Holyoke -based organization that runs the six-state power grid and wholesale markets, Independent System Operator New England, plans to discuss the projects in a two-day Boston conference starting today .
A proposed three-turbine wind power project at Beaver Ridge in Freedom is ready to move onto substantive review by town planning board members following board confirmation earlier this month that the application submitted at that time by Portland-based Competitive Energy Services (CES) is complete and in order. That vote followed a special town meeting the previous week that rejected a proposed moratorium and allowed consideration of the project under the town’s new commercial development review ordinance to move forward.
In her opening remarks, Merrill mocked Baldacci's refusal to take a stand on the Redington wind farm project. Then she produced a waffle iron, which she presented to Baldacci as "the first and inaugural waffling iron" for waffling on the issue. "I don't believe we have the luxury of turning our noses up against a technology that begins to address global warming," she said of wind power.
Baldacci, LaMarche and Merrill agreed that nuclear power has no future in Maine and that wind power does, although Merrill was alone in endorsing the Redington Wind Farm, which Maine Mountain Power LLC wants to build in western Maine.
An 80-foot-long tube that got stuck in Searsport last week as it began a truck trek to a windmill project in Aroostook County finally got on its way Saturday........ "The trailer was the problem," Saucier said. The original trailer used was not appropriate for the equipment it was carrying.
FREEDOM - Local review of a $12 million wind power proposal for Beaver Ridge is set to begin next month, coming after a planning board decision Thursday night that Competitive Energy Services' application is complete. The wind project was proposed in March, but CES voluntarily held off applying for permits until the town could develop an ordinance by which to evaluate it. The ordinance was adopted earlier this summer, and an attempt to pass a six-month moratorium on wind power permits was defeated at a special town meeting last week.
SWAN'S ISLAND, ME - Swan's Island Electric Cooperative members voted at their annual meeting to consider developing wind power on Swan's Island and Frenchboro, according to Working Waterfront.
SEARSPORT - High-tech wind power met old-fashioned road pavement Thursday as a truck hauling an 80-foot-long, 197,000-pound tube for a major power generation project in Mars Hill got stuck. The driver's inability to make a turn from a road at Mack Point onto U.S. Route 1 resulted in the tube rolling off its trailer, damaging the road surface. Traffic was blocked for at least three miles.
Backers of a $10 million wind energy project for Beaver Ridge in Freedom scored a victory Thursday when townspeople rejected a moratorium effort proposed by two of the town’s three selectmen. The vote was 79-44. As a result, a representative of Portland-based Competitive Energy Services (CES) is expected to appear before the Freedom Planning Board Thursday of this week seeking a permit under the town’s recently enacted commercial development review ordinance. According to CES executive Andrew Price, the company has been unable to place its order with the manufacturer for the three proposed tower-mounted turbine units until it secures town permitting. There is about a year’s lead-time until the units would be delivered, he said.
CARRABASSETT VALLEY – The Planning Board heard two proposals at its August 31 meeting, one for a proposed subdivision on Sugarloaf and the second from Maine Mountain Power LLC (MMP) for a part of its proposed wind power project. MMP has proposed a 30-wind turbine project for nearby Black Nubble and Redington Mountain, with access roads and transmission lines located in Carrabassett Valley. The Maine Land Use Regulatory Commission (LURC) held hearings on the project last month at the Base Lodge on Sugarloaf.
The purpose for the meetings was to formally announce that TransCanada has concluded most of its studies in the Kibby Mountain Range and are now stating that it is suitable for the development of a wind power project. TransCanada plans on filing its rezoning application to the Land Use Regulation Commission this fall.
Freedom voters once again supported the construction of wind turbines on Beaver Ridge. In a 79-44 vote Thursday, residents turned down a moratorium that would have prevented town officials from approving the project.
A proposed wind farm on Beaver Ridge continues to fuel vigorous debate. Freedom residents are preparing to vote Thursday, Aug. 31, on a moratorium that would prohibit local officials from granting permits for the project for 180 days, with extensions possible if “the problem giving rise to the need for this moratorium still exists and reasonable progress is being made to alleviate [it].”
KITTERY, Maine -- The Town Council has agreed to fund a wind study at the local dump to see if the location is right for a proposed power-generating windmill. At the meeting Monday night, the council unanimously approved the use of $2,000 to buy testing equipment and begin a wind speed study, which could take up to a year.
"It's a difficult bird to study because it's distributed across a fragmented range of mountaintops which we sometimes refer to as 'sky islands.' We estimate the total population to be between 20,000 and 40,000 birds," Rimmer said. The bird's habitat faces potential threats from ski area development, communications tower construction, wind energy projects, acid rain, mercury and global warming.
The land above 2700 feet in Maine's mountains has been protected from development since 1972. According to state regulations, a rezoning like the one Maine Mountain Power is requesting in order to build the project must meet stringent criteria. The proposed development must fit "harmoniously into the existing natural environment," and it must satisfy "a demonstrated need in the community and area." It must provide a "public benefit." This project does not meet these criteria.
Tapping into wind power's clean energy isn't as simple as it sounds. Even the environmental groups that tout sustainable energy are divided when it comes to the massive turbines. In Maine, a key environmental group opposes plans to put turbines on a high-visibility ridgeline.Editor's Note: Click on link below to hear audio report.