I live in Highland Plantation, the site of a proposed industrial wind development. Everything we own is within 2 miles of this project with an unobstructed view. Despite the threat to our sporting camp business and property value, my wife and I were willing supporters of big wind in order to save the planet. I’ve learned some things over the years.
The developers claimed they would lessen dependence on oil, coal and gas and lower the cost of electricity. We asked for an explanation and learned that unless a lot of us buy electric heat and electric cars, there is no savings in oil.
Coal isn’t related in any way to their project. The only fossil fuel savings will come from slowing down a gas-fired plant outside Maine.
Wind generators get premium price for their product and the cost of new transmission infrastructure will be added to our CMP bill.
The U.S. Department of Energy, which is subsidizing all these wind developments with our money, is also in the process of permitting new coal-fired generating plants at the rate of about one a week (more than 100 in the next two years, according to an article in this paper), the little bit of gas saved becomes irrelevant.
Maine has 4,300 megawatts of generating capacity, but we use on average about 1,500. We could begin buying electric cars and electric heat right now with no need for the extra capacity of mountain top industrial wind.
A Brookings Institute study called “An Action Plan for Promoting Sustainable Prosperity and Quality Places,” advises protecting our unique wild rural character as the cornerstone of Maine’s economic future. Turning hundreds of square miles of wild mountains into an industrial zone for no real benefit doesn’t fit that vision.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding