Vestas will be offering UMPI cost estimates for several different options, including decommissioning the turbine and replacing it with another turbine, Rice said.

“If we were to decommission the turbine, we’d want to replace it with a renewable energy system that would provide similar energy and cost savings,” Rice said.

Those other renewable energy options could include solar panels, although officials with UMPI and the University of Maine System are in still “very early in the conversation” about their next steps, Rice said.


When the wind turbine at UMPI began operations in May 2009, exactly nine years ago, it was to produce 1,000,000 kilowatt hours per year and save $100,000 annually in electricity. In other words, over these nine years there should have been 9,000,000 kilowatt hours produced. But there have only been 4.7 million kilowatt hours produced as noted below. That means the wind turbine delivered at only 52% of expectations -- which were low to begin with. So if the power production delivered at only 52% of predictions, how did cost savings deliver at 100% of predictions?

Note that in identical manner, UMPI's "CO2 avoided" is unchanged from 2009 as well from - despite the fact that the turbine delivered at only 52% of going in prediction. In 2009 they predicted 572 tons of CO2 avoided and that's the number they continue to give out.

The University of Maine promised to share all information on the turbine. They have not delivered on this promise either. 

From "The County" - May 10, 2018

"The 600 kilowatt turbine was installed in 2009 at a cost of $2 million. Since then, the turbine has generated 4.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity, the equivalent of powering 436 average American homes, according to the university. Officials estimate it saves UMPI approximately $100,000 annually in electricity costs."

From May 14, 2009

University officials anticipate the turbine will produce about 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and save the institution more than $100,000 annually in electricity charges. Once fully operational, the windmill is expected to save an estimated 572 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.

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Comment by arthur qwenk on May 12, 2018 at 4:28pm

As usual, total unadulterated BS from wind zealots.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 12, 2018 at 11:13am

CO2 avoided assumes the turbine is replacing fossil fueled power. Where does UMPI get its power from now? and how has that changed since the oft repeated press release of 2009? Overall, Maine has one of the 'greenist' sources of power in the U.S., but don't know where UMPI gets its power from.

Comment by Dan McKay on May 12, 2018 at 10:25am

Is the State Taxpayer Supported University System a learning center or a politically driven losing cause ?

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on May 12, 2018 at 9:53am

800 Kwh / Month - 9600 Kwh / Year

1,000,000 Kwh / year - 104 homes / year.

4.7MM Kwk over 9 years = 54 homes

4.7MM Kwh 4700 Mwh x 0.7 tons per Mwh should have saved 3290 tons of CO.

I would dare to say that for educated people, they seem to be a bunch of Numb Knuts. Or they may need some less fluff in their public press statements because when the delusion ends, the truth may appear.

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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 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?" 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.”

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