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.
Will Maine legislators ever wise up to the fact that our feel-good state energy policy is draining hundreds of millions of dollars from Maine’s economy and billions from the New England economy? As giant turbines continue to proliferate on more and more of our mountains and smiling wind developers pocket vast amounts of taxpayer and ratepayer money that should have been invested instead in more dependable forms of clean energy, one has to wonder. In a recent Bangor Daily News . . .
The Department of Energy has awarded around a half-million dollars to New York, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts state organizations to cooperate on scaling up the offshore wind industry in the region. Under the leadership of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the group will lay out a collaborative road map by the end of the year on how to build up the new industry. The project largely aims to reduce the cost of offshore wind . . .
DIXFIELD — The Board of Selectmen voted 5-0 Monday to have Belfast lawyer Kristen Collins draft language on sound limits for the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance. At its Aug. 25 meeting, the board voted to accept a citizens’ petition requesting the ordinance include the complete Maine Department of Environmental Protection sound level limits, which are 42 decibels for nighttime and 55 decibels for daytime. Town Manager Carlo Puiia said he discovered there are 26 pages on the DEP’s standards for . . .
PORTLAND, Maine — Wind power developer SunEdison announced it agreed to give $2.75 million to conservation efforts and limit where it pursues wind farms to advance the state’s largest wind project to date in Bingham. SunEdison said Friday the conservation fund is one part of an agreement between it and the group Friends of Maine Mountains, which in March withdrew an appeal of the Bingham project before the Board of Environmental Protection. The company and nonprofit said they did not . . .
A $2.5 million fund directed at conservation projects across western, central and northern Maine has been set up after an anti-wind group earlier this year dropped a lawsuit against the company building a wind farm in Bingham. SunEdison, a renewable energy development company, and Friends of Maine’s Mountains announced details of the collaboration in a news release Friday morning. The first $1.5 million of the fund will be directed to Maine conservation and environmental groups including the Trust for Public . . .
FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — After a recent moratorium and almost a decade of informal proposals for wind turbines, the Fort Fairfield Town Council approved a new wind ordinance Wednesday with a one-mile setback from nonparticipating landowners, noise abatements and viewshed protections. Some residents cheered the action while supporters of wind power decried it as a de facto ban on development of such renewable energy projects. “We’ve tried to impress that this [ordinance] is not pro- or anti-wind development,” said councilor . . .
OAKFIELD, Maine — Nearly eight years after developers first proposed erecting wind turbines on the hills of Oakfield, a $369 million renewable energy project has been completed. All 48 3-megawatt Vestas turbines are up and will be online by the end of the month, according to Peter Garrett, superintendent of the Oakfield wind project for SunEdison Inc. “The turbines are now going online and three of the four circuits are now energized,” Garrett said during a tour of the wind . . .
DIXFIELD — The Planning Board will meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, to continue discussing possible amendments to the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance. Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., approached town officials five years ago about constructing wind turbines on Col. Holman Mountain ridge. The town’s original ordinance passed in November 2012 and a revised ordinance was rejected in November 2014. February, selectmen voted to put the Planning Board’s original draft on the June 9 ballot. Residents defeated it. . . .
EASTBROOK — What do phone taps, home searches and town meetings have in common? In order for any of them to be legal, there has to be a warrant. That lesson in legality was learned the hard way in Eastbrook Tuesday night. A vote on a multimillion-dollar benefits package from a proposed wind farm failed to take place as planned because a warrant for the meeting had not been posted. It was not that no one knew the meeting was . . .
DIXFIELD — A Planning Board member defended himself against a resident’s complaint of bias at Monday evening’s selectmen meeting. Town Manager Carlo Puiia said Donald Lutick filed an official complaint against Lauren Hebert, alleging Hebert is biased against wind development in Dixfield and shouldn’t be editing the Wind Energy Facility Ordinance. The Planning Board is revising it after voters rejected it June 9. Puiia said that normally a complaint against a town official is handled in an executive session. “In . . .