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 stage is set for lawmakers once again to weigh in on how to address concerns of residents in the Unorganized Territory that a landmark 2008 law stole from them the ability to participate in decisions on wind energy development in their proverbial backyards. Just like they did last year, and the year before that, residents of the UT paraded in front of a legislative committee to decry the Wind Energy Act for creating an “expedited permitting . . .
AUGUSTA, Maine – Wind power advocates squared off against opponents today as lawmakers heard testimony on two competing bills that could affect wind development projects in Maine’s unorganized territory. Maine’s unorganized territory, or UT, refers to that vast wilderness which has no local government. It encompasses more than 400 townships, 9,000 year-round residents and more than half the acreage of the entire state of Maine. Wind power opponent Chris O’Neil, of the group Friends of Maine’s Mountains, is concerned that . . .
ORLAND — The town Planning Board is continuing a review of the rules that govern any proposed wind power projects, although board members are still trying to determine the nature of that review At its April 6 meeting, with Chairman Jack MacBrayne on vacation and Vice Chairman Dexter Johnson leading, board members discussed whether they should simply be studying the town’s wind power ordinance in anticipation of a project application from New Hampshire developer Eolian Renewable Energy, looking for areas . . .
The developer of the 16-turbine Bowers Mountain wind power project near eight lakes with special scenic designation argued Wednesday to Maine’s highest court that regulators erred in considering the project’s collective effect on the lakes. Juliet Brown, the attorney for SunEdison-owned Champlain Wind, argued Wednesday before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the citizen-run Board of Environmental Protection should have approved the project. The Department of Environmental Protection opposed the project in an . . .
Freedom — It’s been six years since the 4.5 MW, three-turbine wind farm on Beaver Ridge started generating power. That’s long enough, according to the owner, to warrant a 30-percent cut in the assessed value to account for depreciation. Beaver Ridge Wind LLC has submitted an abatement request. Town officials are scheduled to meet with representatives at 2 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the Town Office. A message on the town website urges residents to attend. Todd Presson of Patriot . . .
Maine became the regional wind power leader under Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, but change is in the air as Gov. Paul LePage makes an aggressive push away from his predecessor’s renewable energy policies. The outspoken Republican, who says wind power is too expensive, is looking to hydropower from Canada and natural gas to bring down electricity prices that are among the highest in the country. While many of LePage’s past energy efforts have fallen flat, he will have an opportunity . . .
Merchant power generators are warning three New England states that their novel proposal to procure renewable energy capacity could force existing power plants in the region to retire early and may not survive legal scrutiny. The New England Power Generators Association last week said the states’ clean energy plan would create a subsidy that could “flood the market” with large-scale Canadian hydroelectric energy and have a “catastrophic” impact on existing northeast US power plants. The association represents companies that own . . .
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 . . .