Library filed under General from Maine
WORCESTER— Absent interest in lower-priced fuels, New Englanders should brace for continued high electricity prices, the byproduct of a regional system heavily dependent on oil, natural gas and coal, the head of the region’s power grid said yesterday.
YARMOUTH — Developers of a proposed windmill project on two western Maine mountains said Wednesday that scaling back the project, as suggested by an environmental group, would doom their Redington Wind Farm plan. Maine Mountain Power is seeking state approval to build 30 wind turbines, 12 on Redington Pond Range and 18 on Black Nubble Mountain near the Sugarloaf USA ski resort. Hearings get under way next Tuesday in Carrabassett Valley.
AUGUSTA -- A week before hearings on a controversial wind farm project are scheduled to begin, an influential environmental group is calling for deep changes in the proposal. The Natural Resources Council of Maine on Wednesday asked Maine Mountain Power, which has applied to erect 30 turbines on two Franklin County mountain ridges, to drop plans to use the Redington Pond Range.
Charles B. Cooper, a Massachusetts-based consultant who has been retained by Maine Tidal Energy Co., said the company is developing new technology for its Maine and national tidal energy projects. The tidal in-stream energy conversion units, which could be used in the Kennebec River, would resemble a tall fan with a giant hole in the middle of the section where the blades would be located. Portions of blades, or propellers, would extend 20 to 50 feet outward through the rim of the fan. As the tides flow in and out of the river with each lunar cycle, the blades would rotate slowly -- in the range of three to 10 revolutions per minute, Cooper said.
High atop some of the tallest mountains in Maine, a wind farm proposal has set the stage for a clash of environmental values that could define the future of wind power in Maine.
New England recorded its highest power usage in history Tuesday, according to Ken McDonnell, a spokesman for ISO New England, manager of the region's power grid. The peak, reached Tuesday afternoon, was 27,374 megawatts of power, eclipsing the previous record set on July 27, 2005, when usage reached 26,885 megawatts.
From the south, the mountains begin with the magnificent Bigelow Range and extend into Quebec. Few people are aware of this area, but it is now the target of corporate juggernauts sensing the profit to be made from production tax credits, accelerated deprecation and other taxpayer financial schemes.
The Freedom Planning Board wrapped up months of work and is ready to present selectmen with the final draft of a 48-page series of ordinances to regulate commercial enterprises in town.
CARRABASSETT VALLEY -- Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission has scheduled a three-day public hearing in August on a petition to rezone land in northern Franklin County for a commercial wind power facility.
It is not enough to simply talk in symbolism. You must state facts. May I suggest you start with these crucial questions. ....
BUCKSPORT - Councilors this week will consider whether to investigate the potential for wind power on town-owned property near the industrial park off Route 46 that could reduce energy costs for businesses in the park and, potentially, for the town's schools.
Unlike the wind, tides are predictable. Also, water's greater density means fewer turbines are needed to produce the same amount of electricity as wind turbines. And since they're under water, tidal projects don't come with aesthetic issues like those associated with wind farms.
That kind of sacrifice is surely admirable and we here in Massachusetts would gladly pass the Cape Wind project along to you.
....we believe there are places where this type of development is inappropriate, and the proposed location of the Redington Mountain project is one such place. We are concerned about the detrimental effects the project would have on one of the region's wildest mountain environments.
Upon extensive research on the wind farm industry on the Internet, talking with the Cape Cod and Vermont citizens dealing with wind farms, I have reached this conclusion. They are masters of giving the public a half-truth then guiding us to an assumption that is not true, but one they want us to believe.
It is nice to be able to use a newspaper to push one's own viewpoints on the environment, social issues or whatever the editors of the newspaper feel is their liberal duty. But you should at least have a clue to what you're talking about.
Missing from that harsh logic, however, is any evidence that industrial wind power can indeed "stem global warming's progress." With 20 percent of its electricity supposedly coming from wind, Denmark's greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. That country has not reduced its use of other fuels despite a landscape saturated with wind turbines.
Wind turbines generate much more cash than they do electricity.
FALMOUTH -- On Wednesday, June 7, Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission accepted four Maine conservation organizations' interventions in opposition to the Redington wind power project that is proposed for Western Maine.... Maine Audubon, the state's largest wildlife conservation organization, joins the Appalachian Mountain Club, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Maine Appalachian Trail Club in opposing this project.
FREEDOM (June 9): Freedom residents said yes to windmills, 56-25 (with 12 abstentions) in at a special town meeting Wednesday, June 7.