Maine PUC deals blow to UMaine offshore wind project (BDN and PPH)

BDN

The Natural Resources Council of Maine criticized the commission’s vote on Tuesday to reconsider the contract terms, saying it was a “bad faith” decision that reflects Gov. Paul LePage’s anti-wind stance........“This administration will do anything to thwart renewable energy development, whether it comes from international investors or our own University of Maine,” Dylan Voorhees, NRCM’s clean energy director, said in the release."

https://bangordailynews.com/2018/06/12/business/regulator-deals-blo...

PPH: Maine PUC applies brakes to UMaine offshore wind project

The PUC stated this project would raise rates for electric customers, and the current Legislature has sent a clear message not to take actions that do that. It’s the commission’s duty, they reasoned, to take another look at the contract terms..................Maine Aqua Ventus had made its case in a 95-page legal brief submitted last winter to the commission. But on Tuesday, PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy refuted many of the arguments in a presentation that lasted nearly an hour. Vannoy’s rebuttal was highly technical, based on case law and previous commission rulings. But to sum up: Much had changed in New England energy market since 2014, and the PUC isn’t legally obligated to approve a power contract based on terms and conditions that also have changed since then..........................“The LePage administration’s anti-wind rampage continued today, with his PUC’s decision to renege on its off-shore wind agreement,” said Dylan Voorhees NRCM’s clean energy director.

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/06/12/regulators-vote-derails-umai...

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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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