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 — Gov. Paul LePage is withholding support for a compromise bill being worked out by the Legislature’s Energy Committee that’s aimed at expanding Maine’s natural gas infrastructure, boosting funding for energy efficiency, directly lowering businesses’ electricity costs and making it more affordable for residents to abandon oil heat. LePage won’t support the bill unless it also requires wind developers prove their projects will lower electricity costs in order to receive state approval and raises the 100-megawatt limit energy . . .
They came from the townships and plantations of Concord, Lexington, Highland, Carrying Place and Pleasant Ridge. They set out for the statehouse in Augusta from the five sparsely populated backcountry communities set between the Kennebec and Carrabassett rivers, from a wooded intervale etched by streams, dappled by lakes and cradled by the hills and mountains of western Maine. As they left, many of them passed a neatly lettered sign at the intersection of Long Falls Dam and Sandy Stream roads. . . .
The Wind Energy Act doesn’t treat every Maine citizen the same – some have more rights that others. For example, the communities in the Unincorporated Territory that the Act put in the “expedited” permitting zone lost their right to weigh in on land use changes that would allow wind power to be built. Yet their neighbors just one community over who aren’t in the expedited zone still have the same rights they always had. Norman Kalloch testified on L.D. 616 . . .
BANGOR, Maine — A Superior Court judge affirmed most of the Clifton planning board’s October 2011 decision to approve a $25 million wind farm on Pisgah Mountain, but also remanded the matter back to planners to review tower heights and sound levels. “It’s a real victory — the first victory — for us,” Peter Beckford, who opposes the project, said Tuesday. Beckford and his wife, Julie, owners of Rebel Hill Farm, filed an appeal in Penobscot County Superior Court in . . .
AUGUSTA – A proposal meant to lower energy costs for Mainers beginning this winter doesn’t go far enough in cutting heating bills to satisfy Gov. Paul LePage, his energy director said Tuesday, and doesn’t address some of the governor’s key concerns about wind power and hydroelectricity from Canada. “There are some priorities that if, unaddressed, really do a disservice to moving the state’s energy policy forward,” said Patrick Woodcock. Woodcock’s comments followed the first day of work by the Legislature’s . . .
PORTLAND — An investigation into the cause of a fire that destroyed a wind turbine at New England’s largest wind farm is expected to wrap up within a month. The Jan. 16 blaze was the first reported turbine fire in Maine. The Jan. 16 blaze, the first reported turbine fire in Maine, burned out the gear box at the top of one of the 44 turbine towers at the Kibby Wind farm in northern Franklin County, said Grady Semmens, spokesman . . .
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage wants to strip from state law goals for increasing the state’s wind energy capacity over the next two decades. LePage’s energy director, Patrick Woodcock, made recommendations Thursday to rewrite the state’s 2008 Wind Energy Act, shifting focus from growing wind energy capacity to lowering electricity costs and making sure Maine sees an economic return on its wind energy investments. The Maine Wind Energy Act, a priority of LePage’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, sought . . .
Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee; public hearings; room 211; Cross Building L.D. 1061, “An Act To Regulate Meteorological Data-gathering Towers in Maine”: requires applicants for wind energy permits to submit to the permitting municipality, the Maine Land Use Planning Commission or the Department of Environmental Protection a detailed summary of the data from each meteorological tower the applicant used in evaluating the suitability of a site for a wind energy development. L.D. 1325, “Resolve, To Place a Temporary Suspension on . . .
Two bills were introduced in April that could restore rights to a segment of Maine’s unorganized territories residents, rights they lost to the 2008 makeover of the state’s wind power siting laws. More than 99 percent of Mainers, in organized and unorganized areas, have input into the siting of wind power projects in their communities, how they’re sited or even whether they’re sited. Such input used to be available to 100 percent of Mainers. At a hearing April 22, it . . .
I have now dropped two memberships of the four environmental organizations voicing support for industrial wind towers on Bowers Mountain. Rather than expressing a commitment to Maine’s “brand” of clean, scenic tourist attractions, they are endorsing industrialization of nine lakes designated as “scenic resources of state or national significance.” Environment Maine, Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Audubon and Sierra Club Maine are actively working to support First Wind’s permit to construct 16 towers. These groups appeared to me to . . .