Articles filed under Impact on People from Maine
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.
My husband is gone now and his dream has become my nightmare because a company sweet-talked the town into approving a major industrial wind turbine project in our neighborhood. We paid for our home with our life's savings, and it was worth every penny. But it will be worth nothing if the noise of wind turbines takes the place of the street noise we left behind. Please, do your homework and educate yourself about what these turbines really are like. This isn't the sweet deal for the town that the company promised.
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.
The neighbors of the proposed wind turbine project in Freedom are asking the voters of Freedom to reinstate the Commercial Review Ordinance at the June referendum, retroactive to the date of the repeal. This is the only way to put some reasonable standards in force. When the town voted to repeal the ordinance last year, we were told the Planning Board would write a new one. That has not happened. ...Consequently, we have no protection from noise, ice throw, strobe effect, no safety setbacks, no standards of any type. These 400-foot turbines will be located only 350 feet from our property lines. We don't even have a fall zone, much less the safety setbacks recommended by turbine manufacturers.
We all support clean energy - but what if its expectations are unmet? Maine has one windmill project up and running in Mars Hill, with its share of controversy. There are additional projects proposed in other sections of Maine. The governor's wind power task force has proposed at least 2,000 megawatts within seven years, and an additional 1,000 megawatts within five years after that. I was a proponent of clean energy - something must be done for our environment. But after much discussion, a lot of listening and some research, I now have questions that must be answered before I can support any wind power project in Maine.
Neighbors have claimed that UPC Wind is violating its permit conditions because of excessive noise from the turbines. ...earlier this winter, an organization called Industrial Wind Action Group filed a complaint with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection claiming that UPC Wind used flawed methodology when calculating noise levels. UPC Wind's president and CEO, Paul Gaynor, said in an interview that the company has committed to doing a better job in the future ensuring that local residents know what to expect when a large wind farm is built nearby. "I know there was an expectation [in Mars Hill] about what these were going to sound like," Gaynor said. "These are big structures and they do make sound."
State officials touted Maine's capacity to become a major producer of pollution-free wind power on Tuesday during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of electricity production at the Mars Hill wind farm. ...Several speakers at Tuesday's event did acknowledge that the Mars Hill facility has had challenges, however. Foremost among those is the ongoing noise concerns raised by some neighbors of the wind farm. Neighbors have claimed that UPC Wind is violating its permit conditions because of excessive noise from the turbines. Company representatives say all of the tests have come back showing that the facility is in compliance. But earlier this winter, an organization called Industrial Wind Action Group filed a complaint with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection claiming that UPC Wind used flawed methodology when calculating noise levels.
Despite the Mars Hill wind project's success, there are some people in the community who have been opposed to it since the beginning. They say when the turbines are moving, it's just too noisy. "There's 18 families, and I happen to be one of them, that live within a mile of the complex, that listen to noise almost on a daily basis and it's a constant noise," said resident Rod Mahan. Pat McGowan says he understands their concerns, but the need for locally produced power in this time of high energy costs is important. "The folks are taking a risk in Maine and they're betting on these ridge lines and they're betting on renewal energy for a very very long time and that's important," said McGowan.
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.'"
Environmental leaders and state energy officials are excited about all the interest in wind power, and all are learning more about it, thanks to Mars Hill. But the project has critics in its hometown. A group of about 18 homeowners in Mars Hill is angry about loud noise that is produced by the wind turbines. The neighbors say the noise is not consistent, that it can vary with weather and wind conditions. At times, it's almost inaudible. But at other thimes, they say, the noise can reach over 50 decibels in their homes, disturbing sleep and making life uncomfortable. ...the Town Manager of Mars Hill says he believes future wind projects should have guidelines for how close wind turbines are placed to homes. He says a turbine within 2,500 feet should have to get a noise easement from the homeowner, to avoid problems with complaints later on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wendy Todd, a resident of Mars Hill, Maine, and her husband, Perrin, live about 2,600 feet away from one of the 28 turbines that compose the Mars Hill Wind Farm, Wendy Todd said. Todd's story is one opponents to the Ellis County wind project have referenced. When her family first heard about plans for construction of the project in 2006, they were not led to anticipate problems, she said. "We thought we had asked all the right questions. We thought ‘if we can deal with the visual aspect and get through the construction phase, we'll be all set,' " Todd said. "There was never any mention of strobing, shadow flicker was never even mentioned. The noise issues were put on the back burner almost immediately." However, she and her husband have been battling these issues, particularly the noise, which Todd said varies with the wind speed.
Gov. Baldacci created a new task force Tuesday to review rules, incentives and siting guidelines for new wind power projects in Maine. Baldacci said the state wants to encourage wind power, but in a way that’s sensitive to neighbors. The task force review is not intended to delay or interfere with wind power projects that are already in the permitting process.
State regulators indicated Wednesday that they plan to pay closer attention to potential noise levels generated by wind farms proposed within the Unorganized Territory. Members of the Land Use Regulation Commission said the state should learn from the noise concerns that have arisen since a wind farm in the Aroostook County town of Mars Hill became operational earlier this year.