Library filed under Impact on Economy from Maine
Local fishermen have raised a number of concerns about the state's plans to use Boon Island as a demonstration site for offshore wind turbine testing. The turbines would take away prime fishing, lobstering and shrimping areas, according to lobsterman Pat White of York, who initiated two recent meetings on the issue at the York Senior Center.
The program, launched this month by Larkin Enterprises, an electrical contractor and worker placement company in Lincoln, gives the students initial training for jobs in an industry that promises great things, but one many concede is still young and undeveloped. ...Catherine Renault, director of Maine's Office of Innovation, voices caution. She says it's hard to prepare a work force when it's not clear what type of jobs are needed, or when it will be necessary to fill them. "To me it's a balance," she says.
Short-term thinking on energy is going to cause some long-term problems Ask Paul Edmonds, vice president of National Semiconductor in South Portland. In August, he wrote in the Portland Press Herald, "An inefficient regulatory system and lack of long-term energy strategy are conspiring against Maine citizens and businesses." I was intrigued. So I called him. He told me, "High electricity costs are a threat to manufacturing competitiveness in Maine."
Freedom residents who hoped the wind turbines on Beaver Ridge would bring a lower tax bill got a surprise this year as other factors sucked up most of the windfall. ...Freedom town officials, with help from the state, valued the Beaver Ridge development at $9.7 million and the Central Maine Power transmission lines running up the ridge at an additional $480,000. But the value added to the town made barely a dent in the mill rate, which went from 17 to 15.5.
It has been two years since Mars Hill started receiving 20 years of $500,000 in annual payments from a tax increment financing deal connected to First Wind of Massachusetts' 28-turbine wind farm, Town Manager Raymond Mersereau said Monday.
Officials with the Maine Power Connection wrapped up a weeklong tour of Aroostook County on Thursday morning, addressing business leaders, legislators and community members about a proposal to build a new $625 million transmission line from central Maine to connect northern Maine to the New England electric grid. The project would bring wind turbine projects online and close a 25-mile gap between the Maine Public Service system lines in Houlton and the Maine Electric Power Co. ..."Northern Maine customers will be held harmless," he stressed. "Northern Maine delivery rates can't go up - that is our goal. If that doesn't happen, this project is a no-go."
County commissioners unveiled a draft agreement Thursday for a tax-increment financing district that could bring the county up to $4 million over 20 years to use for economic development in unorganized territories. ...But Carrabassett Valley Town Manager Dave Cota said the draft agreement would shift more of the county tax burden to organized towns and let the company get away with not paying its fair share of taxes. Mitchell said the purpose was to reach a balanced agreement that would benefit all of the county directly and indirectly. The TIF would capture 75 percent of the new tax revenue for the first 10 years and 50 percent for the latter 10, with the county keeping 40 percent and TransCanada getting 60 percent. The remaining tax revenue gained would go into the state's unorganized territory fund.
As a tourist who visits the area, I notice what is transparent to most locals, and for me the skyline of Fairhaven is priceless. If the citizens of Fairhaven allow the wind power project to be built at the current proposed location, I believe you will be making a terrible mistake. The town may gain some money in taxes and offset some electrical energy costs, but it will not offset the loss in green space and, more importantly, the beauty of Fairhaven's historic charm.
A portion of the wind energy generated from newly installed wind turbines located in PEI was wheeled through PEI and New Brunswick and sold to the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) via the international interconnection node in Keswick, N.B. The renewable energy certificates (RECs) that were generated from this transmission were sold separately to independent buyers located in the NEPOOL.
"Our analysis finds that there are no insurmountable legal, economic or technical barriers to withdrawing from ISO-NE," he said. "Viable alternatives to ISO-NE now exist, such as the formation of a Maine independent transmission company or the creation of a Maine-Canadian Maritimes market." Adams said the MPUC continues to study both options and will make its recommendations in a final report to the Legislature in January 2008. The preliminary report indicates that the final report will focus on "opportunities" with Canada's Maritime provinces.
Thank you for allowing me to speak. My name is Wendy Todd. I am from Aroostook County. I am a resident of Mars Hill and live approximately 2600 feet from the Mars Hill Wind Project. I am here today to offer testimony that residents around the project are suffering. There are 18 families that I know of that are negatively impacted on a regular basis from the noise, strobe effect and shadow flicker from the turbines. Most of these 18 families live less than 3000 feet from the turbines. There is no one that I know of from 425 East Ridge Road to 212 Mountain Road that does not agree that there are issues with noise. Issues that are changing the way residents view life around the mountain. We have formed a group called the Mountain Landowners Association in an attempt to share information and come up to speed on the issues of living this close to turbines of this size and generation. We have had to struggle through massive amounts of documentation from the Internet and from other towns that are dealing with the same issues.
MARS HILL, Maine — Something has turned terribly sour for about 18 homeowners who live along the mountain roads where the state’s first and only wind farm has recently gone on line. To a man and to a woman, they feel betrayed, cheated, used, ignored, and dismissed. Put them in a room and they are spitting mad. Collectively, as they gather on a Saturday morning inside a home that sits in the shadow of the turbines, their anger is barely palatable. Since the turbines started up, they say, silence has become a luxury.
It seems few in this town of about 1,500 people can agree on UPC Wind Management’s newly completed $85 million project, which makes the unassuming potato-growing and truck-brokerage community home to New England’s largest wind farm. But there’s one thing everybody can agree on: The place sure looks different. Long before a visitor arrives at Mars Hill, the towers become visible along what used to be just another mountain. The total height from the ground to the tip of the blade is 389 feet. Each tower has three blades, which spin in winds whipping west to east toward Canada just a few miles away.
A federal law designed to ease electricity transmission bottlenecks and improve power reliability could hit Maine ratepayers in the pocketbooks, twice. The measure could force the construction of transmission lines to move Maine’s surplus power south. Not only could the loss of the surplus increase the price of electricity in the state, but Maine consumers would also have to pay part of the cost of building the lines.
Let’s be honest and admit that wind power plants on mountains will amount to an industrialization of the fragile high landscape of Maine. These plants cannot fail to change forever the character–including the ecosystems–of some of the most beautiful parts of our state.
I feel that your paper's endorsement of the wind project is based upon an incomplete understanding of its impact upon the western mountains' nature-based tourism.