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Wind industry fails to fulfill promises

I’m one of thousands of residents who oppose industrial wind power development in Maine.

As a sales and marketing professional, I agree 100 percent with the Brookings Institution study that defined Maine’s “quality of place” as its No. 1 asset. It’s the one asset that cannot be duplicated by any other Northeastern state.

What we have is unique to Maine, and we should be doing everything within reason to preserve its natural beauty.

Instead, our Legislature and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection are giving these out-of-state and foreign-country developers carte blanche with two-thirds of our state.

I’m not some “green” environmentalist who wants to stop all commercial development. I do consider myself a conservationist and choose to live in rural Maine for its diverse offering of outdoor recreational opportunities and for the rural small-town way of life – both of which are now being impacted by industrial wind power development.

These projects also jeopardize our state’s largest industry – tourism. If visitors wanted to recreate in the shadows of grid-scale energy facilities, they could do it closer to home and not spend their valued vacation dollars in Maine.

As noted in Tux Turkel’s article “Wind summit touts growing Maine potential” (Sept. 5), we’re seeing taller towers and larger rotors with each new project. These industrial turbines are now nearly 50 stories tall, and each project impacts an otherwise natural-looking viewshed for hundreds of square miles.

We who live in rural Maine already are painfully aware of the permanent damage these projects are doing to our No. 1 asset, and also the severe divisiveness that is caused by the developers in our communities.

It’s about time those who live in the more populated portions of the state educate themselves on the real issues, instead of being sucked in by the wind industry’s public relations campaign.

Kevin Gurall

Lakeville

Quantum Utility Generation LLC is applying to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for a permit to construct 14 wind turbines on Passadumkeag Mountain in Grand Falls.

The electricity from this project is destined to go to a utility in western Massachusetts. There will be no benefit to the majority of Maine residents other than some taxes and other benefits to Penobscot County. Maine electric rates will not be lowered; in fact, on July 1, they were raised by Central Maine Power and Bangor Hydro Electric.

The major reason is to finance improving and enlarging the grid to accommodate the surge in electric power from wind turbines when actually functioning (only 25 percent of capacity). They will not replace existing power plants, which are necessary as backup when there is insufficient wind.

Wind farms are not economically competitive with other forms of energy production, particularly natural gas. They could not survive without the extensive assistance from the federal government consisting of cash grants, the productive tax credit and the renewable energy credit, all of which are ultimately provided by the U.S. taxpayer.

In addition to destroying the aesthetic value of our mountains and lakes in northern Maine, wind projects such as that proposed for Passadumkeag Mountain have a negative effect on our tourist industry (who wants to look at these monstrosities?) and property values for those in their environs.

We in Maine, particularly in the northern part, pay the price of having our scenic mountains covered with wind turbines while most of the profits go to an out-of-state developer and its investors. The commercial wind industry in Maine is a scam.

If you agree, send a message to the DEP regarding the proposed Passadumkeag Mountain project. There are already 19 such projects existing or under development in Maine. Our state does not need another one.

Donald W. Wilson

Scarborough