Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Maine
First Wind of Massachusetts' proposed $130 million wind farm and an associated 115-kilovolt power line might affect an Essential Fish Habitat for Atlantic salmon, but its impact will be minimal if precautions are taken, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday.
More than 30 people expressed their concerns about a massive power line upgrade project proposed by Central Maine Power at Lewiston City Hall Monday night during a public hearing before Maine's Public Utilities Commission. About 70 people were present. ...Nearly all of those who spoke before Commissioners Jack Cashman, Sharon Reishus and Vendean Vafiades were apprehensive about the project, anticipating noise pollution, loss of property value and health risks.
Forum organizers wanted to help residents of Fort Kent, a likely site for a large wind development, to explore the pros and cons of wind farms before any applications are filed, said David Soucy, a lawyer who helped organize the event. Texas-based Horizon Wind has been negotiating lease agreements with landowners in the Fort Kent area and in other parts of Aroostook County with an eye toward building a wind farm. "The issue is not whether wind farms are a good idea or not," Soucy said. "The issue is where can they be ideally situated."
As opponents of a $120 million wind power development slated for Rollins Mountain, the Friends of Lincoln Lakes residents group will ask the Town Council and planning board next week for a moratorium on all pending wind projects, its organizers said Thursday. Group members will attend council and board meetings next week after taking in the third hearing held by wind farm proponent First Wind of Massachusetts on Wednesday at Mattanawcook Academy, group member Gary Steinberg said. They fear that local boards haven't had adequate time to learn enough about wind farms' potentially hazardous impact upon municipalities and wildlife.
Wiscasset is being considered for the largest energy development proposal - and potentially the largest development project of any kind - in the history of the state. A Toronto entrepreneur who has developed Canadian wind farms has floated the idea of building a massive $2 billion underground hydropower station at the old Maine Yankee nuclear power station site. The project would be one of the first of its kind anywhere. The proposal raises questions about impacts on the Back River and groundwater, and it would use as much energy as it creates.
"My fear is that the aesthetics, the whole feel of the area and the views of the ridge, I really feel that this will be gone soon," Wotton said. "That's my biggest fear." That's why Wooton is a member of the newly formed Friends of Rollins Ridge group, an organization of about a dozen town residents that is investigating, and likely will oppose, a proposed $120 million wind farm that, if approved, will go on sites in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn, including Rollins Mountain.
The wind turbine project for the mountains between Roxbury Pond and the Swift River in Roxbury is not suitable for the area. Environmental, health and quality of life impacts will be with area residents long after the wind turbines have been replaced with more reliable and efficient sources of power. People must always consider the environmental impact of any industry in the precious Maine woods and waters.
This task force abandoned the very idea of stewardship and capitulated to temporary commands of a very temporary administration. LURC has become foot soldiers for developers and surrendered the near-sacred trust placed in them by former legislators, and the people of Maine, who have a field of vision broader than what is either convenient or politically correct. It is lonely at the top of the mountain, standing against the tide of state policy, public opinion, public interest groups and deep pockets willing to exploit mountains as sacrificial areas in trades and arrangements to benefit their interests. LURC has made a bad decision. Generations from now will look back and shake their heads at these piles of metal and wonder why.
So Price intends to build this project no matter how the town votes -- no surprise. Why shouldn't he be confident? After all, his uncle, Selectman Ron Price, is running the show. Wake up, folks, and see what's happening to our town. Don't believe their promise that three turbines is the end of it. CES would not buy up more land and run 10 miles of heavy duty transmission lines for just three turbines. Freedom has sold out for the faint hope of some tax dollars -- and it's just a hope. Franklin County has a tax agreement with the developer - - so did Mars Hill. Not Freedom!
I highly recommend that you check out the "Task Force on Wind Power in Maine" Web site if you want to see an important aspect of Maine's future. Wind power appears to be Maine's next big, extractive industry. With goals of 2,000 megawatts of power by 2015 and 3,000 by 2020, that means a lot of wind towers, many where we live. Let's think about 2,000 MW for a moment. ...At 3 towers per mile these wind power goals would mean hundreds of miles of towers strung across Maine's ridges and if mountain ridges are a dominant feature of our skyline consider replacing that image with wind towers, which could be a nearly omnipresent part of our landscape. ...we must get rid of this feel-good-but-profoundly-misleading notion that these wind towers will somehow save the planet or Maine life as we know it. These and similar measures are far too little, too late to have a major impact on climate change.
Many of the landowners whose property abuts the Beaver Ridge windmill project met at the Beaver Ridge Road home of Sally Hadyniak Saturday afternoon to voice some concerns about the windmill project and explain why they want the town to reinstate its commercial development review ordinance. ...[Resident Jeff] Keating explained at Saturday's press conference that he wants to see in writing that the builders of the project, formerly referred to as Competitive Energy Services (CES) but now known as Beaver Ridge Wind LLC, will abide by the standards set forth in the ordinance. Originally, CES had worked with the town while it created the ordinance but, according to the abutters, were ultimately unwilling to make the windmill project meet the ordinance's guidelines, and encouraged the town to get rid of the ordinance after it had been enacted.
Controversy over a proposed wind power project in Byron and Roxbury continues to grow the closer Byron gets to its town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday. An article in the warrant seeks to amend Byron's building ordinance to allow 450-foot-tall wind towers and turbines to be placed along a ridge between Old Turk Mountain and Record Hill. ...Some information regarding noise levels in those letters and on Record Hill's Web site is being questioned publicly by coalition members Linda Kuras and Sarah Nedeau and others.
On Capitol Hill, the Audubon Society is leading the fight to increase production of climate-friendly power. So why are Audubon enthusiasts battling a wind farm that could help meet that goal? For one thing, there are trout in nearby streams, which activists say are at risk from chemical and sediment runoff from construction of 30 turbines, each soaring about 400 feet -- taller than the Statue of Liberty. Then there are the bats and hawks, which might be puréed by the giant blades that would catch the wind gusting along the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. "They're enormous," says Tom Dick, a retired veterinarian who founded the local Audubon chapter. "When you start looking at this, it's like, 'hell, this is not right.'"
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.
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.
Imagine that number of turbines, strung along our mountains from the Maine-New Hampshire border, along the spine of the mountains to the Kennebec River and beyond. Roads up steep slopes will have to be built to each grouping of turbines. New power lines will be strung down valleys to reach grid connections. Blinking lights at night will be visible for a hundred miles or more. This scenario is too horrible for most Mainers to believe, or even visualize. Yet it is being proposed.
The Black Nubble Wind Farm, which calls for 18 turbines on the western Maine mountain, will go before the public Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Sugarloaf Grand Summit Conference Center in Carrabassett Valley. ... The Black Nubble proposal is a smaller version of the Redington wind farm proposal, which was rejected by Land Use Regulation Commission members in an unusual 6-1 vote in January that went against the recommendation of its own staff.
The town of Mars Hill...is 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.
Three environmental organizations agreed to back the proposed Kibby Mountain wind-power project in Franklin County after the developer agreed to pay $500,000 to protect several high-elevation acres in Oxford County. According to a late Tuesday afternoon report, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Audubon and Natural Resources Council of Maine negotiated the deal with TransCanada Maine Wind Development Inc.
In the Aroostook County town of Mars Hill, 28 wind turbines will soon be generating electricity. Even before they begin commercial operation, however, the windmills are generating considerable controversy. The biggest issue is noise.