Maine ratepayers paying for the wind barons and... windpower , the grid operator nightmare

Posted:Today Updated: 6:36 AM    

Inadequate transmission lines keeping some Maine wind power off the...

Ratepayers will likely bear the cost of future upgrades to fix the problem, which could get worse.

By  Tux Turkel Staff Writer

After spending $1 billion in Maine to build 11 projects, wind energy companies have a problem: The transmission lines connecting them to the New England grid sometimes are too weak to carry all their power.

click image to enlarge

First Wind’s Stetson wind farm, in Washington County near Danforth, is among the turbine projects in New England that sometimes can’t send their power into the grid because local transmission lines are too weak. The problem is expected to become worse as more wind farms are built, and the regional grid operator is exploring ways to improve the situation.

2010 Maine Sunday Telegram file photo/Gregory Rec

When that happens, the region's grid operator orders the wind farms to reduce output or stop running, a process called curtailment. Letting them all operate at certain times could overload the grid and jeopardize reliable service.

The problem could get worse in the future, according to the grid operator, if many more wind projects go on line, as planned

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Thank you Angus King , John Baldacci and others

Monique Aniel


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Comment by Martha thacker on August 4, 2013 at 8:50pm

In a hearing between FERC and the US govt. , it was stated that the grid was at capacity. The power would bottleneck in Orrington. There was no room on the grid  for wind farms(Mars Hill power goes to Canada) ..there has been a proliferation since then. pinetreewatchdog has the document. The billion dollar "upgrade" was just for wind power. ..the turbines at stetson mt windfarm are probably nearing the end of their natural life time. This is more than enough evidence for a lawsuit. Especially since ME exports power. The increase in rate payers monthly bills goes to keep the politicians and corporations going strong.

Comment by Dan McKay on August 4, 2013 at 2:30pm

Mainers pride themselves on their frugality. Wind advocates demand compliance at any cost or uselessness.

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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 (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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