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.
DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen voted Monday evening to approve the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance for the June 9 ballot, Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Wednesday. It will be the third time in three years the ordinance has come to a public vote. Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., asked Dixfield officials three years ago about building 13 wind turbines on Col. Holman Mountain. It is conducting wind tests, bird studies and environmental impacts on the ridge. Residents approved . . .
The lone commissioner at the Maine Public Utilities Commission who has been at odds with the energy policies of Gov. Paul LePage says he’s going to remain on the job after his term expires on March 31. David Littell said he wants to continue participating in cases involving wind power contracts, the creation of a so-called Smart Grid Coordinator and future funding for Efficiency Maine. “It became clear in the last two days that at least three major cases are . . .
In 2008, the Maine Legislature passed the emergency Wind Energy Act (WEA). By legislating expedited permitting of wind projects over much of Maine, the WEA purported to increase energy independence and security and reduce CO2 production. But, something was wrong with that premise. First, electricity was never Maine’s source of energy insecurity. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), per capita residential electricity use in Maine is below the national average. Only one in 20 Maine households uses electricity . . .
ORLAND — The Planning Board held a meeting Monday evening that was, according to board Chairman Jack MacBrayne, originally scheduled as a work session. Board members planned to start reviewing the town’s controversial wind power ordinance, looking for possible areas of improvement. But the first half-hour of Monday’s session was devoted to a different question: whether the board could even begin that review. In attendance was Selectman Ed Rankin, who said his board had consulted with the Maine Municipal Association . . .
MISERY TOWNSHIP, Maine — The company that recently received permission to build the Bingham Wind Project has its sights set on another area of northern Somerset County. Somerset Wind LLC — a subsidiary of First Wind — has applied for permission to install six meteorological towers in Chase Stream, Misery, Misery Gore and Johnson Mountain townships, according to Samantha Horn-Olsen, planning manager for the Land Use Planning Commission. First Wind was recently purchased by SunEdison, a global renewable energy corporation. . . .
Maine regulators intend to reopen negotiations for power purchase agreements awarded in 2014 to two wind farms. The state Public Utilities Commission also plans to re-examine the energy solicitation process in the state. Commissioners in December approved term sheets for SunEdison’s 72.6MW Weaver and NextEra Energy Resources’ 44MW Highland projects following a request for proposals. However, one of the three commissioners has since been replaced and the board recently voted 2-1 to renegotiate the terms based on falling energy prices . . .
PORTLAND — The corporate subsidy watchdog agency Good Jobs First found Central Maine Power Co. parent company Iberdrola topped the list of all recipients of federal grants and tax credits, primarily in tax credits for its renewable energy developments. Energy companies generally topped the list of grants, as the review by Good Jobs First included tax credits wind power companies can receive for each unit of electricity they produce. SunEdison, which purchased wind developer First Wind earlier this year, was . . .
Residents approved a moratorium on wind power facility development, with much milder debate than they had on the cell tower issue. Andy Marble, code enforcement officer, said the 180-day moratorium would give the town time to craft an ordinance to regulate wind power, something it does not have now. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” Marble said. “With the Global Towers lawsuit, we can see it is pretty easy to rack up legal charges. This is a great way to make sure we don’t end up with that again with commercial wind farms.”
PORTLAND, Maine — Before wind power developer Atlantic Wind moves ahead with its 50-turbine project in Somerset County, state regulators want to answer big legal questions about what kind of financial ties the developer can have with Central Maine Power Co. Both companies are owned by the Spanish utility Iberdrola, though both are separated by various levels of corporate subsidiary relationships. The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday opened an investigation into that matter, seeking to determine whether the financial . . .
A town’s comprehensive plan, I am learning, is an incredibly important document. It consists of a detailed inventory of the town’s assets, unique features, wildlife habitat, historical sites, and the like, as well as an extensive sampling of the attitudes and values of the people who live there. Basically, it outlines what the municipality consists of and how the residents wish to make use of what they have. The comprehensive plan gives the leadership of the town clear, long-term goals . . .