I've been involved in 'teaching' Maine planners about correct siting of wind turbines--horizontal and vertical, i.e. AVCOG planners last November; Lisbon Town manager; and worked with Brunswick's town manager on our siting ordinance.

I also will do site assessments for people who think they have a good site and want an opinion on options, costs, etc.

There are a lot of approaches to siting wind turbines and a welter of other ordinances that would impinge on them, i.e. historic preservation districts.

I'd welcome any questions on different facets of siting, since there really is a lot to consider; starting with manufacturer's recommendations and warranties.

As most of you probably have learned; there is a big difference between the sales engineers forcasts of power output vs. what you get.

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Yes, Frank. There is a big difference. Saco, accepting the saleman's projections for its municipal turbine, is producing about $60 worth of electricity per month. At that rate the turbine will pay for itself in about 278 years. Great investment. The SPO released a model ordinance as directed by the ill-conceived Windpower Task Force. While it is something, it was largely written by the industrial wind industry, and is woefully inadequate at protecting citizens from the detrimental effects that come with proximity to grid-scale turbines. I am drafting an efficacious ordinance to supplant the SPO's weak one. Your technical help on that project could be valuable. Time after time residents are coming forth saying, "I was all for this green energy project. I believed the company when they said the sounds were minimal, quiet, pleasing... Now I can't go near the post office because I might spray the place with bullets."
As for the polling, no surprise. The public opinion on this is the most blatant case of whitewash since, well, it would be impolitic to invoke Nazism, wouldn't it?
The ordinance I helped draft for Brunswick was for residential turbine siting, i.e. small wind; since the planner and i agreed that 'big wind' was an industrial usage and treated as such.

Here is the text .

306.23 Small Wind Energy Systems

Small Wind Energy Systems (SWES) shall be reviewed according to the following:

For lots located in the Rural Area the following standards apply:
A. An SWES shall have a maximum height of 125 feet from the ground level to the systems highest point.
B. All components of an SWES used to generate electricity including blades and all accessory parts shall not have a diameter of more than 25 feet.
C. On lots less than three (3) acres in size, no more than one (1) SWES installation shall be allowed. On lots of three (3) acres or more, up to three (3) systems shall be allowed.
For lots located in the Growth Area the following standards apply:
A. An SWES shall have a maximum height of 80 feet from the ground level to the systems highest point.
B. All components of an SWES used to generate electricity including blades and all accessory parts shall not have a diameter of more than 15 feet.
C. One SWES per lot shall be allowed.

The following standards apply to Small Wind Energy Systems located in both Rural and Growth Areas:

A. A building permit from the Codes Enforcement Officer is required prior to installation.
B. All parts of an SWES shall be setback from all property lines, public rights-of-way, overhead utility lines and all dwelling units a minimum distance equal to the total height of the system measured from the ground to the systems highest point or the minimum setback of the district in which the system is located, whichever is greater.
C. An SWES shall not exceed the noise standards set forth in Section 109.4 of the Zoning Ordinance.
D. An SWES shall not be lighted and shall not display any signs, writing, symbols or graphic representations of any kind except appropriate manufacturer’s or installer’s identification and warning signs.
E. The minimum distance between the ground and all blades of an SWES shall be 25 feet as measured at the lowest arc of the blades.
F. The SWES shall be designed and installed such that unauthorized public access via step bolts or a ladder is prevented for a minimum of 12 feet above the ground.
G. An SWES which is not generating and has not generated electricity for twelve (12) consecutive months shall be deemed abandoned and shall be dismantled by the owner within 120 days of receipt of notice from the town unless the SWES is not in operation due to the property being in the process of being sold. A system owner may request in writing to the Codes Enforcement Officer an extension of up to one (1) year if the owner is actively pursuing the repair of the system for future use.
H. An SWES shall be equipped with both manual and automatic over-speed controls.
I. An SWES must comply with applicable town, state and federal regulations, including any necessary approvals for installations within FAA regulated zones.
J. All roof-mounted small wind energy systems must be approved by an architectural engineer prior to installation.

The following submission requirements for a building permit apply for Small Wind Energy Systems located in both Rural and Growth Areas:

A. Description of the project including specific information on the type, size, tower type and height, rotor material and diameter, rated power output, performance, safety and noise, manufacturer and model of SWES.
B. Evidence that the proposed height of the SWES does not exceed the height recommended by the manufacturer of the system.
C. Structural drawings of the wind tower, base or foundation, prepared by the manufacturer or a professional engineer. If attachment to an existing structure is proposed, a description or drawing acceptable to the Codes Enforcement Officer shall be submitted.
D. If connection to the publicly regulated utility grid is proposed, evidence making clear that the utility is aware of the proposed connection and finds it acceptable.
E. Photographs of the proposed site.
F. A site plan depicting setbacks to all property lines.
G. Any additional information deemed necessary by the Codes Enforcement Officer
Noise was tricky and verged over to motorcycle noise measurement; i.e. there is measurable 'SOUND' and there is a person's perception of it, i.e. noise or music.

Abandonment, maintenance, etc. was discussed. My view is that a failure to meet manufacturer's recommendations would void warranties; but should the turbine change hands i.e. sold, then perhaps a permit would be better, with an escrow account to cover abandonment.

Shuttering is another emerging issue, esp. in Northern latitudes where the rising and setting sun is so low on the horizon in the winter.

Different zones will rule out wind turbines; ecology zones, historic preservation zones, etc.

The tricky are are VAXT's attached to buildings...hmmmm. This is where a structural engineers opinion would be required.

In so far, as the turbine not living up to the sales' projections, CAVAET EMPTOR took precedence over an anemometer study before hand. Put the R.O.I.in the sales agreement and structure in penalities.
I just looked at the photos of the water projects you posted. If there's one thing clear about Maine, we have plenty of water. I imagine there is still plenty of untapped potential. I've read that China is very involved in taking advantage of this. I've stood on the middle of that bridge in Brunswick where you can watch the power and it is pretty awesome - in the true sense of the word. But I'm guessing there's a fair amount of potential on smaller streams too. Can this be done in a way that somehow reasonably co-exists with the fish?
Maine's commerce was founded on water power.

In 1821, there were 1,400 active water mills running all kinds of enterprises....one saw mill on the Kennebec may have created the first pre-fab house----those square FEDERAL style homes up and down the Kennebec were shipped by barge from this sawmill; on Vinalhaven there was the world's largest granite polishing mill, turning out many of the columns for New York, Philadelphia' and Boston's banks and public buildings.

There are several books and an MCPB video at bhttp://www.mpbn.net/Portals/0/asx/MaineExperience/segments/mainemills/mainemills.asx which is a partial chronicle of the role of these sites.

There may be several thousand worthy sites in Maine.

I and a few others are actively pursuing various smal land micro hydro ventures at a number of them. I've got several power point presentations on the topic and had them video taped by MPBN.
Yay Frank. As John Kerry said after the Dixmont ordinance was enacted: "We have to be for something." (Maybe that's a paraphrase.)
But the fact is, there are plenty of better somethings to be for. I was an ardent supporter of the 'Close Maine Yankee' campaigns of the 1970s, but now I say give me one- two square mile nuke plant over a thousand square miles of unreliable turbine desecration.


Frank J. Heller, MPA said:
Maine's commerce was founded on water power.

In 1821, there were 1,400 active water mills running all kinds of
enterprises....one saw mill on the Kennebec may have created the first
pre-fab house----those square FEDERAL style homes up and down the
Kennebec were shipped by barge from this sawmill; on Vinalhaven there
was the world's largest granite polishing mill, turning out many of the
columns for New York, Philadelphia' and Boston's banks and public
buildings.

There are several books and an MCPB video at
bhttp://www.mpbn.net/Portals/0/asx/MaineExperience/segments/mainemills/mainemills.asx
which is a partial chronicle of the role of these sites.

There may be several thousand worthy sites in Maine.

I and a few others are actively pursuing various smal land micro hydro
ventures at a number of them. I've got several power point
presentations on the topic and had them video taped by MPBN.
I too am somewhat suspicious of the takeover of wind power by large corporations....and all their vulnerabilities.

One wonders whether it was the subsidies and rate differentials which ushered in these corporate 'raiders' and whether all the GREEN 'fervor' wasn't just clever marketing ploys to a gullible media and public to build momentum for the subsidies and set asides.

There is a lot of energy getting landfilled and run through sewerage treatment plants....I've read Maine leads the nation in Fuel oil consumption....why not start generating bio-gas and using it for heating and running clean electric generators?

The state's wiring is all wrong for Wind...transmission lines run to and from Wiscasset because of Maine Yankee; other lines run from WYMAN dam and older hydro installations. Wind will require a new set of HV lines, ROW, switches, etc.

No emphasis on installing individual wind turbines where appropriate on Islands, shores and high points, but the payback and inconsistency is still a downside. Island power is expensive, and there are some islands--Cranberry comes to mind, where home owners have installed solar and wind. Monhegan has many solar PV installations....small, but useful. Now a huge wind turbine on the hill!
Chicken or egg, huh? I think it was both. Opportunism in as much as the public fears and loathes foreign oil, and the bpublic wants to be green. But the policy of incenting the establishment and proliferation of this massive infrastructure is both sensible and bold, if one consideers it wasn't going to happen absent governemt action. The rub for me is that wind seems to have caught on like a fad, despite acknowledged shortcomings. It's all-American to think positive, to forge onward knowing that we can make it work. Texas has thousands of MW online now. Iowa too. They do contribute significantly to their grid load. ut it's different wind and different regulatory environment there. Most Texas communities with windfarms have no zoning. It's barren wasteland. Plus they don't have the hydro capabilities we do. Quebec is a resource that is being squandered. They have adequate hydro power to provide the required spinning reserve that makes wind feasible. See "NewsShare." We probably do too, just not to the scope and scale that Quebec has both. Regardless, we are on a path that will require diverse generation types. They don't all need massive front and back door subsidization to work. My position is that micro wind has its place, and grid-scale wind has its place--offshore. It will require less spinning reserve, less contentious transmission siting, and it won't desecrate the land. As such, it can be a valuable piece of the puzzle if it can be made competitive. Our group would do well to articulate our alternative to the established "alternative" energy master plan. My main concern is that we will wake up one day with a decent system in place, but a minor net contributor to that system will be 25 or so massive mountaintop windfarms violating the previous timeless landscape - and underutilized or inoperable - like so many VCRs messing up our living rooms.


Frank J. Heller, MPA said:
I too am somewhat suspicious of the takeover of wind power by large corporations....and all their vulnerabilities.

One wonders whether it was the subsidies and rate differentials which ushered in these corporate 'raiders' and whether all the GREEN 'fervor' wasn't just clever marketing ploys to a gullible media and public to build momentum for the subsidies and set asides.

There is a lot of energy getting landfilled and run through sewerage treatment plants....I've read Maine leads the nation in Fuel oil consumption....why not start generating bio-gas and using it for heating and running clean electric generators?

The state's wiring is all wrong for Wind...transmission lines run to and from Wiscasset because of Maine Yankee; other lines run from WYMAN dam and older hydro installations. Wind will require a new set of HV lines, ROW, switches, etc.

No emphasis on installing individual wind turbines where appropriate on Islands, shores and high points, but the payback and inconsistency is still a downside. Island power is expensive, and there are some islands--Cranberry comes to mind, where home owners have installed solar and wind. Monhegan has many solar PV installations....small, but useful. Now a huge wind turbine on the hill!

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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