DEP Recommends Permit for Weaver Wind

Very quietly, First Wind creeps back into Maine like Godzilla rose from the fetid lagoon.

Let's hope it's the last wind project ever in Maine.  

Read the Draft Order here:  

Weaver%20Wind%2C%20LLC%20L26464knlnmnnn%20Order%20DRAFT.pdf

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Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 17, 2019 at 11:42am

Art, I've a few contacts who'll listen....after all it's proven, yet deliberately ignored forest/biology science.

When I was the environmental policy analyst with the Center for Policy Analysis(NLC/USCM) I would have to engage powerful mayors in these debates, so it's just business as usual, and eventually they listen and adopt my policy points into their agendas.

Comment by Art Brigades on May 16, 2019 at 10:26pm

Frank, apparently Governor Mills has been listening to you.  Her bill LD 1679 has a public hearing on Friday, May 17 and in Section 6 she differentiates between gross and net GHG emissions. The differentiation is the amount of GHG absorbed by plants, forests, etc. 

Comment by Art Brigades on May 14, 2019 at 2:47pm

This is a strange case, and it'll be interesting what happens in the next 72 hours before the deadline. Probably plenty to appeal. Longroad doesn't have a power contract in hand, which would help it claim financial capacity.  There is still uncertainty over whether they have a Community Benefit Agreement, because Longroad is trying to say the one First Wind signed 6 years ago is still in force. If a new CBA is required, will it be approved by voters at town meeting? If the thing tanks again, there's a chance towns like Osborn could take advantage of the reset, and they could impose a moratorium while they write a protective ordinance. Timing is good, as the summer people are headed up soon.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 14, 2019 at 1:38pm

Not necessarily:

"New or additional evidence to be offered. If an appellant wants to provide evidence not previously provided to DEP staff during the DEP's review of the application, the request and the proposed evidence must be submitted with the appeal. The Board may allow new or additional evidence, referred to as supplemental evidence, to be considered in an appeal only under very limited circumstances. The proposed evidence must be relevant and material, and (a) the person seeking to add information to the record must show due diligence in bringing the evidence to the DEP's attention at the earliest possible time in the licensing process; or (b) the evidence itself must be newly discovered and therefore unable to have been presented earlier in the process. Specific requirements for supplemental evidence are found in Chapter 2 § 24.

Tight time frame for this challenge; which leads to a 30 day period at the Superior Court level and the chance to widen the purview of the challenge and standing of aggrieved parties to those affected by lost of forest......There must be a 100 groups devoted to reducing CO2 levels who could be invited to submit their views on lost forest; other groups are water supplies like Nestles who want to preserve the filtration by tree roots of rain water in a catch basin. 

Who is the leading environmental lawyer at USM? any other players looking for an issue?

I don't see much success at DEP; and a loss would kill off a court challenge, so head for the court and raise larger issues which make us all aggrieved parties.

 

Comment by Art Brigades on May 14, 2019 at 12:54pm

1. Here is the appeal process, which costs money, and which prohibits new evidence being introduced.

https://www1.maine.gov/dep/publications/is-appeal.html 

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 14, 2019 at 12:40pm

I don't think I do, but FMM should have. Nor am I an environmental lawyer familiar with procedure. Call DEP or the public advocate's office for advice. The center for Public interest Reporting may know of some lawyer looking for cause to champion. MHPC doesn't engage in environmental challenges. 

The evidence is there, it just has to be compiled and presented. Challenges to DEP permits have been mounted before; finding a lawyer to formulate them is not impossible.

Comment by Art Brigades on May 14, 2019 at 12:31pm

Challenge how?  

Do you have standing?

Statutory deadline for the order is May 17.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on May 14, 2019 at 11:48am

Unless you challenge this approval in court, you will find more of these 600' turbines getting put up.

The permit completely omitted the impact of lost forest on carbon sequestration  resulting from photosynthesis. It takes about an hour to calculate effect of the lost forest and translate that into CO2 no longer removed from the atmosphere.

At this point, it is easy to  make a case that the impact on climate change is dramatic and environmental.

Two types of relief:  reforestation offsets; reducing any carbon credits and subsidies based on them, and perhaps ordering DEP to conduct a precise analysis of the loss of forest canopy.

Until you start linking wind farms with climate change, you will continue to loose challenges---making points about noise were addressed and deftly rejected. 

Call me if you want to mount a challenge.

Comment by richard mcdonald on May 12, 2019 at 11:39am

Weaver is just the beginning. As southern NE moves offshore and out-of-state customers for Maine wind disappear, Maine will start it's own domestic RFP process to crank-up wind/solar development - wait and see. 

Comment by Willem Post on May 12, 2019 at 3:52am

Cost Shifting is the Name of the Game Regarding Wind and Solar

 

Cost shifting is rarely mentioned, identified or quantified. Those costs, as c/kWh, could be quantified, but it is politically convenient to charge them to:

 

- Ratepayers, via electric rate schedules, and/or added taxes, fees and surcharges on electric bills

- Directly to taxpayers, such as carbon taxes and user fees.

- Directly to federal and state budgets and debts

 

No cost ever disappears. Eventually, the various costs would increase the prices of energy and of other goods and services.

Efficiencies improvements elsewhere in the economy may partially, or completely, offset such increases.

However, RE subsidies would divert capital from other sectors of the economy, which likely would result in fewer improvements in efficiencies.

 

Cost Shifting: Here is a partial list of the costs that were shifted, i.e., not charged to wind and solar plant owners, to make wind and solar appear less costly than in reality to the lay public and legislators.

 

1) The various forms of grid-stabilizing inertia (presently provided by synchronous gas, coal, oil, nuclear, bio and hydro plants).

 

2) The filling-in, peaking and balancing by traditional generators (mostly gas turbines in New England), due to wind and solar variability/intermittency, 24/7/365. The more wind and solar on the grid, the larger the required up/down ramping capacity of the gas turbines, which imparts added costs to owners for which they likely would not be paid:

 

- Less annual production to cover power plant costs, which jeopardizes the economic viability of the plant

 

- Inefficient remaining production (more fuel/kWh, more CO2/kWh), due to up/down ramping at part load, which further adds to owner costs, and reduces less CO2 than claimed. See URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fuel-and-co2-reductions...

 

- More wear and tear on the gas turbine plants, which further adds to owner costs

 

NOTE: All of this is quite similar to a car efficiently operating at a steady 55 mph, versus a car inefficiently operating at continuously varying speeds between 45 mph to 65 mph.

 

3) Any battery systems to stabilize distribution grid with many solar systems. They would quickly offset downward spikes due to variable cloud cover. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/large-scale-solar-plant...

 

4) Any measures to deal with DUCK curves, such as a) daily gas turbine plant down and up ramping, b) utility-scale storage and c) demand management.

 

5) Grid-related costs, such as grid extensions and augmentations to connect the remotely distributed wind and solar, and to deal with variable/intermittent wind and solar on the grid. Those grid items usually are utilized at the low capacity factors of wind and solar, i.e., a lot of hardware doing little work.

 

6) Utility-scale electricity storage (presently provided by the world’s traditional fuel supply system).

https://www.neon-energie.de/Hirth-2013-Market-Value-Renewables-Sola...

 

The above 6 items are entirely separate from the high levels of direct and indirect subsidies. They serve to make wind and solar appearto be much less costly, than in reality. See sections 1 and 2 and Appendix.

  

All that enables wind and solar proponents to endlessly proclaim: “Wind and solar are competitive with fossil and nuclear”.

 

Example of Cost Shifting: For example, to bring wind electricity from the Panhandle in west Texas to population centers in east Texas, about 1000 miles, $7 billion of transmission was built. The entire cost was “socialized”, i.e., it appeared as a surcharge on residential electric bills.

 

Example of Cost Shifting: Often the expensive grid connection of offshore wind plants, say from 20 miles south of Martha's Vineyard, across the island, and then to the reinforced mainland grid, is not included in the capital cost estimates, i.e., all or part of it is provided by the utilities that buy the electricity under PPAs to make PPA-pricing appear smaller than in reality. That cost is “socialized”, i.e., it appears as a surcharge on residential electric bills, or is added to the rate base.

 

Wind and Solar Wholesale Prices in NE: Here are some wholesale prices of wind electricity RE folks in New England, especially in Maine, do not want to talk about. They would rather dream RE fantasies, obfuscate/fudge the numbers, and aim to convert others to their dream scenarios, somewhat like religious missionaries. See table 2.

 

Comments on table 2:

 

Indirect subsidies are due to loan interest deduction and depreciation deductions from taxable incomes.

Direct subsidies are due to up front grants, waiving of state sales taxes, and/or local property (municipal and school) taxes. See URL.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/excessive-subsidies-for...

 

Table 7

Direct/Indirect subsidies

Cost shifting

NE Wind

NE Solar

 

 

 

Ridgeline

Field-mounted

 

 

 

c/kWh

c/kWh

Owner price to utility

No

No

  17 - 19

22 - 26

Owner price to utility

No

Yes

 15 - 17

20 - 24

Owner price to utility

Yes

Yes

 8.5 - 9

10.5 - 12.5

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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