Wind Power News: Maine
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The Board of Environmental Protection on Thursday rejected two challenges to permits granted earlier this year for the $110 million Hancock Wind project in Hancock County. Following a three-hour meeting Thursday in Augusta, the citizen-led board dispensed with appeals filed by Darren Lord and Oscar Weigang. Barring a challenge in the courts, the decision clears the way for construction of the 18-turbine wind farm in the unorganized Hancock County territories of T16 MD and T22 MD. The . . .
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday announced that he and the five other New England governors have committed to a new plan for a cooperative, regional energy infrastructure. The goal of the agreement is “affordable, cleaner and reliable power for homes and businesses across the Northeast.” Among other things, the statements from each governor point to a fledgling plan to bring higher natural gas capacity to all of New England. The agreement for the Regional Energy Infrastructure Initiative . . .
FRIENDSHIP — Loss of fishing grounds, noise and the industry’s reliance on government subsidies were among the objections raised about a planned wind power project off Monhegan Island. The concerns were aired at the first of three community outreach meetings Nov. 12 on the University of Maine’s wind power project, which would site two floating turbines producing up to 12 megawatts of electricity. If the turbines perform as hoped, the project could be expanded to produce up to 500 megawatts . . .
JONESPORT, Maine — A divided gathering of voters for a special town meeting narrowly defeated a proposed temporary moratorium on new wind energy projects in the coastal fishing village Tuesday evening. The measure, which would not have impacted two wind energy projects already approved by town officials, was defeated 24-22 by a paper ballot vote. The decision was not without a bit of drama, however. It was the second vote on the question that resulted in the proposed moratorium being . . .
AUGUSTA, Maine — An offshore wind power pilot project for the Gulf of Maine could still cost the state’s electric ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of a 20-year power purchase agreement now on the table before the state’s Public Utilities Commission. The project, headed by the University of Maine, replaces a similar one proposed by Norwegian energy company Statoil, which dropped its plans for Maine several weeks ago after a political battle over its project. But . . .
County Commissioners met with attorney Erik Stumfell to learn more about the Tax Increment Financing law in the state of Maine on Monday. The reason they’re so curious, is because they’re looking into doing TIFs with a few proposed wind farm projects happening in the county – one in Oakfield, and the other at number nine mountain in unorganized territory just west of Bridgewater. County Administrator Doug Beaulieu says, “this is an exercise in obtaining as much information as we . . .
I attended a state Board of Environmental Protection meeting concerning the permit for Saddleback Ridge Wind on Nov. 7. The developer’s lawyer said over and over again that the data shows no wind project “out of compliance” in Maine. Why? Applicants must set up a toll free complaint hotline, then the DEP determines if complaints to the hotline are valid, which could take months, or years. It has been suggested, worldwide, that local boards of health handle these hotlines. In . . .
JONESPORT, Maine — Jonesport voters will gather at a special town meeting next week to decide on a proposal that would impose a temporary moratorium on new wind energy projects. Officials of the picturesque fishing village have approved two small projects to allow wind turbines to generate power, but the process generated some controversy and opposition. The town’s planning board asked the Board of Selectmen to put a moratorium on the ballot at a special town meeting, and the selectmen . . .
Southern New England, in particular Massachusetts and Connecticut, needs more renewable generation to meet their clean-energy mandates. But the supply to meet that demand is mostly in the north wind power from the mountains of Maine, or hydroelectricity from vast reservoirs in Quebec. [audio available] Kerrick Johnson is vice president of the Vermont Electric Power Company, which operates the statewide grid. He says the region is already looking at more than $4 billion worth of new transmission and that’s before . . .
Gov. Paul LePage hasn’t been the proponent for wind energy his Democratic predecessor, John Baldacci, was. He’s long been critical of state laws he sees as favoring wind energy development, and he has blamed wind energy for inflating Maine’s energy prices. In May, he proposed stripping from state law goals for increasing the state’s wind energy capacity over the next two decades. But if Maine can play a role in satisfying its southern counterparts’ demand for wind energy, LePage is open to selling it to southern New England utilities in exchange for some benefit to Maine’s ratepayers, said Patrick Woodcock, LePage’s energy director.