Oakfield-Chester Transmission Line

Overview

Although not yet reported on in the Maine press (as of today's date, October 24, 2011) First Wind wishes to build a new 59 mile long transmission line from Oakfield to Chester. A separate LLC has been set up by First Wind for this project and the name of the LLC is Maine GenLead LLC.

 

If they can get this line built, it is not unreasonable to surmise that they will try to add new, yet announced, wind projects in the area to feed this line. Take a look at the following Katahdin webcam. Do these folks deserve to have their extraordinary little pieces of heaven despoiled with rusting hodgepodges of useless industrial junk on their ridges?

http://www.katahdincam.com/

This section has been set up to house information on the Oakfield-Chester transmission line.

 

Table of Contents

2/26/11 - Surrounding Ktaadn with Turbines

4/23/11 - Various articles about the CMP Transmission Upgrade (MPRP)

6/8/11 - Map of the Oakfield-Chester proposed 59 mile transmission line.

6/8/11 - Maine Genlead LLC Application

6/8/11 - Application For a Natural Resources Protection Act Permit

6/8/11 - Map of proposed revised Oakfield Wind Project

9/20/11 - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers call for public comments

9/22/11 - First Wind applies for wind power towers near Katahdin

9/22/11 - First Wind Eyes Katahdin

10/25/11 - First Wind sponsors International Appalachian Trail as it plans to despoil the views from the trail

11/23/11 - Lynne Williams Letter in Mount Desert Isle Observer

4/5/12 - Various articles about the CMP Transmission Upgrade (MPRP)

 

CONTENTS

I was born in and grew up in Lincoln, with the omnipresent Mt. Katahdin just a ways up the Penobscot River.  I was drawn to it at an early age and now, in my old age, can only savor the indelible views from high upon the mountain from the memory of dozens of hikes to the summit.  In my teens, I discovered, much to my delight, the wonderful writings of Thoreau.  How thrilled I was to read his account of climbing “Ktaadn” and his words have stayed with me forever.  In “The Maine Woods”, Thoreau writes:

 

“The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effect on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there. Simple races, as savages, do not climb mountains, — their tops are sacred and mysterious tracts never visited by them. Pomola is always angry with those who climb to the summit of Ktaadn.”  Governor Baxter understood; Monique Aniel understands; and along with thousands of other Mainers, I understand.  Ironically, though both former Governors King and Baldacci climbed Katahdin, they gained not the wisdom of the Great Spirit that dwells there, for they advocate blasting away the mountains and tearing them asunder for the folly of wind power.

 

 

As many times as I climbed Katahdin, the thrill of breaking out of the forest at the timberline to see the craggy cathedral above me and the vast expanse in all directions never failed to inspire me.  This is truly a special place.  In all directions are verdant forest carpeting rolling ridges and smaller mountains, interspersed with lakes.  As Thoreau described:  “I could see the country eastward, boundless forests, and lakes, and streams, gleaming in the sun, some of them emptying into the East Branch. There were also new mountains in sight in that direction.” 

 

Yes, I have shared with Thoreau, but I have angst about the “Ktaadn” view of today and the future.  Now, when one looks to the northeast, the 28 wind turbines at Mars Hill Mt. are visible, southeast are 55 wind turbines at Stetson, Jimmey and Owl Mountains, in the same direction just 20 miles away, are the 40 wind turbines on Rollins Mt and Rocky Dundee ridges in Lincoln.  Already permitted but on appeal are 34 wind turbines in Oakfield.  In the permitting process are 25 even larger wind turbines slated for Bowers Mt., not only clearly visible from Katahdin, but towering over the magnificent unspoiled Downeast Grand Lakes.

 

Most ominous for “Ktaadn”, though, is the targeting of every ridge that rises out of the eastern and southern slopes of the East Branch of the Penobscot River, at the very foot of Maine’s Greatest Mountain.  There is already a met tower on Kelly Hill in Staceyville, with talk of a string of wind turbines in Patten, Sherman, Island Falls, Staceyville, and Benedicta.  That is just the first wave, because every ridge where a short power line can connect to the major power line coming from Ripogenus dam into the grid will be future fodder for wind developers.

 

Will the future views from Mount Katahdin, considered by many to be the greatest mountain in the eastern US be 400-foot tall wind turbines with aviation lights blinking 24/7?  Will being encircled by sprawling industrial blight shatter the seeming remoteness of Katahdin, such a draw for so many who are weary of urban life?  My two heroes, Gov. Baxter and Thoreau, must weep that we should be such shortsighted fools to allow this to happen around “Ktaadn” or anywhere else in our beautiful and unique corner of the planet.

 

 

 

 4/23/11 - Various articles about the CMP Transmission Upgrade (MPRP)

See:CMP_Tranmission_Upgrade_Articles.pdf

6/8/11 - Map of the Oakfield-Chester proposed 59 mile transmission line.

Source: http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/docstand/sitelaw/Selected%20developments/oakfield-wind-amendment/Maine%20Genlead%20LLC%20L24572/section1.pdf

 

Download jpg of map at: 

Map_of_Oakfield_Transmission_from_MaineGov.jpg

 

6/8/11 - Maine Genlead LLC Application (can be found at the following external link)

http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/docstand/sitelaw/Selected%20developments/oakfield-wind-amendment/

 

6/8/11 - Application For a Natural Resources Protection Act Permit

The applicant is Stantec.

Oakfield%20-%20application%20for%20a%20natural%20resources%20protection%20act%20permit.pdf

 

6/8/11 - Map of proposed revised Oakfield Wind Project

Source: http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/docstand/sitelaw/Selected%20developments/oakfield-wind-amendment/Evergreen%20Windpower%20II%20L24572/section1.pdf

Download map jpg: Oakfield_Project_From_Maine.gov_Site.jpg

 

9/20/11 - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers call for public comments

 

For Immediate Release:

Sept. 20, 2011

Release No. ME 2011-086

Contact:Tim Dugan, 978-318-8264

timothy.j.dugan@usace.army.mil

 

Evergreen Wind Power II, LLC, and Maine GenLead, LLC seek Corps permit to place fill material to build wind power facility

 

CONCORD, Mass. – The Evergreen Wind Power II, LLC and the Maine GenLead, LLC, are seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States and impact wetlands between Oakfield and Chester, Maine, in conjunction with the construction of a wind power facility.

 

The applicants propose to place temporary and permanent fill material in numerous waterways and wetlands between Oakfield and Chester, Maine, in order to construct a wind power facility and associated 59-mile electrical transmission line; and provide a direct interconnect between the energy generation in Oakfield and the Bangor Hydro-Electric Company’s existing Keene Road substation in Chester to a new substation servicing the Oakfield Wind Project in Oakfield.

 

The project area encompasses 12 towns and townships. Approximately 60 percent of the 59 miles of new transmission line will be co-located and adjacent to existing corridors.

 

The proposed work includes the discharge of dredged or fill material to construct the “Revised Oakfield Wind Project” to include the upgrade of the previously permitted (Corps file #NAE-2009-00386) project. The Oakfield Wind Project has not been constructed and is being revised to change the turbine types; to add temporary and permanent meteorological tower locations; to change the turbine pad size, turbine locations, road widths, and some road locations; to eliminate the northern substation; to add 25 turbines in new project areas; to add a new substation; and to add an approximately 59-mile 115-kilovolt generator lead transmission line extending from an existing substation in Chester to a new substation servicing the Revised Oakfield Wind Project.

 

Approximately 35.2 miles of the new line will be located adjacent to existing utility corridors. The purpose of the Oakfield Wind Project is to expand a commercially viable, low-impact wind energy project in Maine. The purpose of the proposed 115-kV transmission line is to provide a direct interconnect between the energy generation in Oakfield and the Bangor Hydro-Electric and ISO New England transmission system to accommodate the increased energy output of the Oakfield Wind Project.

 

Approximately 2.55 acres of permanent fill is to be placed in freshwater wetlands; approximately 24.3 acres of temporary fill (construction mats) is to be placed in freshwater wetlands; approximately 137.5 acres of freshwater wetlands will be impacted in conjunction with vegetation clearing; and approximately 455 linear feet of freshwater stream impact will be incurred in conjunction with culvert placement.

 

To compensate for the project’s unavoidable permanent and temporary impacts to wetlands and waterways, the applicants propose offsite preservation of approximately 2,100 acres of wetlands and uplands adjacent to the existing Mattawamkeag River Wildlife Management Area managed by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife in Drew’s Plantation in Penobscot County, Maine.

 

The proposed work may impact Essential Fish Habitat for Atlantic salmon. This habitat consists of stream and river bottom composed of silt, sand and gravel mixed with stones. Impact to this species is expected to be minimal with appropriate erosion control measures, in-stream work windows, clearing restrictions, and other best management practices. Therefore, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding Essential Fish Habitat conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to the final permit decision. Similarly, consultation continues with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act since salmon in this location are part of a distinct population segment listed by the Service as endangered.

 

The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps of Engineers in compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in United States waters, includingwetlands; and with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of anywork in, or affecting navigable waters of the United States. The public notice can be viewed on the Corps website athttp://www.nae.usace.army.mil. Select Regulatory/Permitting and then weekly public notices.

 

Public comments referencing this permit request (File # NAE-2011-01538) should be forwarded no later than Oct. 19, 2011 to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Maine Project Office (ATTN: LeeAnn Neal), 675 Western Ave., #3, Manchester, Maine 04351. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager LeeAnn Neal at 207-623-8367 Ext. 2 or by email to leeann.neal@usace.army.mil.

# # #

 

http://www.nae.usace.army.mil/news/11/2011-086.pdf

 

Map of transmission line: 

http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/docstand/sitelaw/Selected%20developme...

 

More on the Oakfield Expansion and transmission line:

http://www.maine.gov/dep/blwq/docstand/sitelaw/Selected%20developme...

 

 

 

9/22/11 - First Wind applies for wind power towers near Katahdin

 
Permit Applications Received and Accepted for Processing
from 8/29/2011 to 9/2/2011

The following applications for permits have been accepted for processing by the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission.

DP-4909 Saint Croix Twp. - AR King Pine Wind Llc Resource analysis/surveying, Other 8/30/2011
MacLean, Billie
.
DP-4912 T 6 R 6 WELS - PE King Pine Wind Llc Resource analysis/surveying, Other 8/30/2011
MacLean, Billie
.
DP-4907 T 7 R 5 WELS - AR King Pine Wind Llc Resource analysis/surveying, Other 8/30/2011
MacLean, Billie
.
DP-4911 T 7 R 6 WELS - PE King Pine Wind Llc Resource analysis/surveying, Other 8/30/2011
MacLean, Billie
.
DP-4908 T 8 R 5 WELS - AR King Pine Wind Llc Resource analysis/surveying, Other 8/30/2011
MacLean, Billie

DP-4910 Dudley Twp. - AR King Pine Wind Llc Resource analysis/surveying, Other 8/30/2011
MacLean, Billie


Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 (Archive on Thursday, October 13, 2011)
Posted by Jym St. Pierre   Contributed by Jym St. Pierre 

http://www.maineenvironews.com/Home/tabid/97/newsid628/15955/mid/628/Default.aspx

 

9/22/11 - First Wind Eyes Katahdin 

 

Ex-PUC head enriched by utility company
By Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting
Posted April 21, 2010, at 8:20 p.m.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/04/21/politics/expuc-head-enriched-...

*********************************
Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

10/25/11 - First Wind sponsors International Appalachian Trail as it plans to despoil the views from the trail

 

This may have been in place for awhile, but we just stumbled upon it today - a First Wind Sponsorship of the International Appalachian Trail (IAT).

Your taxpayer dollars hard at work garnering good will for Appalachian mountaintop carver First Wind.  Note the photo at the top featuring Katahdin, where the AT ends and the IAT starts. It's probably taken from the Stacyville area which is already in First Wind's sights for a wind factory to feed its proposed 59 mile transmission line from Oakfield to Chester. There's talk of a national park here. I wonder if they realize it could be fenced in by 475' flashing turbines.

 

According to the IAT's website, the trail "celebrates the grandeur of our common landscape".

http://www.internationalat.org/pages/SIAIAT_Pages/aboutus

 

As you can see from the partial screen grab of the IAT map below, the trail runs right through First Wind's Mars Hill wind factory, a facility that has been destroying the tranquility, washing out the night sky and tormenting residents for years.

 

Source: http://www.internationalatmaine.org/Pages/SIAIAT_PDF/iatmarshill.pdf

 

Here's an example of what First Wind did to Mars Hill in building their wind factory in the previously serene and God sculpted countryside:

 

Here's where some of the people tortured by First Wind at Mars Hill live:

 

 

Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Windmills on Mars Hill Mountain tower over a home in January 2007, in Mars Hill.

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/25/business/maine-doesnt-need-wind-power-group-says/

 

Following is a closeup of Katahdin from the IAT website, again, likely taken in Stacyville, a First Wind target that already has at least one First Wind met tower. Majestic views of a western-like rugged mountain range are extraordinarily rare in the eastern U.S. Katahdin is such an extraordinary mountain that it's the end of the AT and the start of the IAT. Yet the Katahdin country in the photo below is in First Wind's sights and the IAT takes their money.

 

Source: http://www.internationalatmaine.org/pages/siaiat_pages/route_me

(Near site of possible future First Wind Stacyville Wind Subsidy Plantation)

 

What the Heck is This?

Source: http://maineoutdoorjournal.mainetoday.com/blogentry.html?id=7005

 

Mount Chase Section of the IAT to be Befouled as Well?

In Maine, the IAT/SIA connects with the terminus of the AT at Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, then heads northeast in the direction of Mount Chase and continues on north to Mars Hill Mountain in Maine’s Aroostook County. It follows the United States and Canadian international borders northward to Fort Fairfield and crosses into Perth-Andover, New Brunswick.

http://www.internationalatmaine.org/pages/siaiat_pages/aboutus

 

Well that's nice, because as noted above, the following First Wind met tower application is very near Mount Chase. Why just spoil one area when you can spoil the entire area - including views from Katahdin as well as summit such as Deasey Mountain which are inside the area proposed for a National Park.

 

DP-4912 T 6 R 6 WELS - PE King Pine Wind Llc Resource analysis/surveying, Other 8/30/2011
MacLean, Billie

http://www.maineenvironews.com/Home/tabid/97/newsid628/15955/mid/628/Default.aspx

 

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

11/23/11 - Lynne Williams Letter in Mount Desert Isle Observer

 

Published today in the " Mount Desert Islander" : Oakfield revisited !

Hello All:  The Mount Desert Islander published the following letter in today's edition, Lynne

Without even bothering to begin construction on the Oakfield Industrial Wind facility that was permitted by the Department of Environmental Protection in January 2010, Evergreen Wind LLC quietly submitted an application for a large expansion of the project. The new application would increase the number of turbines from 34 to 50, and increase the height of the turbines from 389 feet (a 39-story high rise) to 459 feet (a 46-story high rise). Evergreen Wind LLC, a subsidiary of First Wind, submitted the expansion application in June 2011, but the details of the application have only recently come to the attention of local residents.

While there was some opposition to the original application, as well as an unsuccessful appeal based on noise issues, there is extensive opposition to the expansion. Just seven days ago, “Protect Our Lakes,” a group of folks who live and/or recreate on land that will be negatively impacted by the Oakfield Wind Project Expansion, posted an online petition, which asked people to sign to indicate their opposition to the Oakfield Expansion.

In just seven days, this petition received over 500 signatures and is now being submitted to the DEP. The signers are very aware that these lakes and the land surrounding them not only have incredible scenic and wildlife values, but historical values as well. A leading opponent of the project expansion, Donna Davidge, notes that she is “ancestrally attached to [the land and these lakes].” Donna is the great-granddaughter of Bill Sewall, Teddy Roosevelt's Maine guide.As one petition commenter noted, “This piece of Heaven will forever be tainted if this goes through. It is absolutely tragic and unfair for these to be built. In the spirit and memory of great men like Bill Sewall, Teddy Roosevelt, and my grandfather Florence McAuliffe who built Camp Roosevelt on Pleasant Lake in the 1920's, we need to exhaust every option in the short time that we have before these are scheduled for construction.”

The opposition to this project expansion encompasses concerns for scenic degradation, wildlife habitat fragmentation, negative impacts to the lakes' fisheries, and general concerns about a process that did not even include a public hearing by the DEP. According to Bar Harbor attorney Lynne Williams, who represents opponents, “To date, the DEP has refused to hold a single public hearing on an industrial wind facility application. It's about time that the agency decided to open up their decision-making to public scrutiny.”

Lynne Williams

 

Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

 

 

 

 

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (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  http://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?"  http://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.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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