Articles from Maine
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.
FREEDOM (Nov 8): A controversial wind power project on Beaver Ridge will be the focus of a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Town Office. Competitive Energy Services of Portland has proposed to erect three wind turbines on Beaver Ridge to generate electricity for sale throughout New England.
New England will need to add power plants capable of generating 4,300 megawatts, and $3.4 billion of additional transmission investment, by 2015 to avoid blackouts, the region’s grid operator says. The area will need 170 megawatts of new power before the summer of 2009 to assure adequate supplies, according to ISO New England Inc., the power grid and wholesale market operator that serves the region’s 14 million people........ If a 1,000 megawatt coal or nuclear power plant had been installed in 2005, buyers in the wholesale market would have saved $600 million in power costs, the report said.
A Southern California congressman wants Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to investigate why the National Park Service recently testified against a wind farm project in Maine .
Biologists, environmentalists, civic leaders and others will converge on Rangeley this weekend for a conference on Maine’s mountains. But this isn’t just a feel-good nature weekend. The only other Maine Mountain Conference - held in 1972 - was instrumental in guiding state agencies to protect Maine’s wilderness areas, organizer Richard Fecteau of Farmington said Wednesday. “Part of the reason for the timing (of this conference) is that (Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission) is revising their comprehensive plan,” Fecteau said. “We would like to show them there’s still a lot of interest in the mountains of Maine.”
The Town of Camden, through its recently formed Energy Committee, is investigating the idea of installing a wind-powered electricity generating turbine on public property on Ragged Mountain, above the Snow Bowl. The Energy Committee was formed early in the year to explore energy conservation and alternative sources of power.
Saying New England holds tremendous opportunity for wind energy development, Connecticut-based Noble Environmental Power today announced that it is teaming up with Vermont-based Vermont Environmental Research Associates (VERA) to explore potential windpark locations throughout the region.
RANGELEY -- From wind power to housing developments, bio-diversity to acid rain, conservation to jobs -- the pressures on Maine's mountains are increasing and policy makers, the business community and the public need to be remember the environmental needs of the mountains themselves, say organizers of a major upcoming conference. The Maine Mountain Conference on Saturday, Oct. 21, is being held at Saddleback Mountain resort's new base lodge with its dramatic vistas of the western mountains. Organizers expect more than 200 people to attend to hear speakers, scientists, historians, planners, residents and outdoor advocates talk about the significance and the future of the mountains.
Chandler Woodcock, Republican candidate for governor, has done Maine citizens a great service by calling attention to the fact that wind power is an inefficient and expensive way to generate electricity (”Blaine House hopefuls square off,” BDN, Sept. 15).
Under the agreement, ISO New England will project regional power needs three years in advance and hold annual auctions to buy power resources, including new and existing power plants. Incentives would encourage private operators to respond to power system emergencies, and operators that don't make extra capacity available would face penalties.
CARRABASSETT VALLEY -- A proposal to construct over 10,000 feet of power line to reach a proposed wind power project in Redington Township could be decided next month. Bill Gilmore, code enforcement officer of Carrabassett Valley, said about 20 people attended a Wednesday night hearing about a plan to build the transmission lines and improve existing logging roads as part of the project. Following a roughly 15-minute presentation from representatives of Maine Mountain Power, the company proposing the project, Gilmore said there were few questions. "I heard no negative comments," said Gilmore, who said the portion of the project that would be in Carrabassett Valley will have little impact.
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.