Developers holding off on land-based projects pending election of Maine governor

No new wind farms have started up in Maine since 2016 and no new applications are pending. Politics is just one reason why. Developers must secure power purchase agreements, typically with utilities in southern New England. They also need firm transmission connections to the electric grid. Both are presenting challenges today....................

Opponents were buoyed by LePage’s stance and hope to influence the next governor. One group, Friends of Maine’s Mountains, said it’s urging candidates to do a “sober analysis” of wind energy’s negative impacts, versus its benefits.

“After 10 years of gold rush-like wind development, Mainers are realizing it was a policy mistake,” said Chris O’Neil, a spokesman for the group. “It’s wrong for Maine, and we can’t afford to further damage the Maine brand.”..........................

Farmer recounted how a special task force set up by Baldacci led to Maine’s 2008 Wind Energy Act, which set ambitious goals for wind development and sped up permits in certain areas of the state. Energy prices were high then, a deep recession looming. But any consensus around the benefits of wind power has faded, he said, replaced by a sharp ideological divide......................

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Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on July 2, 2018 at 3:12pm

Who are the biggest bagmen for the wind industry? The law firms, the "public relations" firms?

Who are the biggest under the table recipients?

Which politicians and environmental group bigwigs have how much in their offshore accounts?

Comment by Stephen Littlefield on July 2, 2018 at 2:43pm

And Janet Mills will flatten every mountain top in Maine if she's elected, she's already stated she wants to go back to the Baldacci years! She's right there with anything King and Baldacci wanted to do, basicly a political hack that could care less about anything but the party!

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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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