While you may not have the time to read this latest piece of pro-wind propaganda, please download the file for your future reference and browse through the table of contents.
This underscores the need for the people of Maine to fight these policies at the state and local level as best we can. The federal government, certainly the DOE, is very much on the side of the wind industry. The latest IRS ruling has just set the stage for two years of robust wind development and we are more than a year and a half from the next presidential/congressional election.
NEW: U.S. Department of Energy "Wind Vision" (March 2015)
Great to see our over the top fanatically crony green federal government at work conspiring to further prop up the fraudulent "industry" called wind power. Including the front section before the 292 numbered pages start, this new report is 350 pages.
On page XXV of the Executive Summary Overview that it states:
Wind cost reductions do not depend on disruptive technological breakthroughs, but do rely on continued cost improvements, including rotor scale-up; taller towers to access higher wind speeds; overall plant efficiency improvements achieved through advanced controls; improved plant designs enabled by deepened understanding of atmospheric physics; installation of both intra-region and inter-region transmission capacity to high quality wind resource locations; and collaboration and co-existence strategies for local communities and wildlife that support the timely and cost-effective installation of wind power plants.
I put the part about transmission in bold, because here is the federal government acknowledging that wind requires new transmission. We of course know this and have always known this - wherever wind projects are built, new transmission must be built.
Mainers were ripped off on wind-required transmission by Governor Baldacci's PUC
Yet when the Maine Power Reliability Project (MPRP), also known as the CMP $1.4 Billion Dollar Upgrade was forced on Maine ratepayers by Governor Baldacci's PUC (over objections of its own staff!), we were told that the reason for the increase in reliability was due to the fact that our transmission lines were aging, that they were some 40 years old and desperately required upgrading. This despite Maine's atypically low population growth and forecasts. This despite more efficient appliances. This despite the fact that every ratepayer pays a monthly maintenance fee to keep the system adequately maintained.
The elephant in the room, which the media won't touch is that the need for reliability was due not to aging lines but rather the planned build out of wind plantations all over Maine, a plan hatched by Baldacci's handpicked wind task force. Wind power, despite its paltry production, comes in spurts when the wind suddenly blows creating potential thermal overload for otherwise wholly adequate and well maintained existing lines. So if the special interests spawned wind plan was to happen, everyone knew extraordinarily expensive new transmission would have to be built. They just conveniently swept it under the carpet and with the help of a supportive media and a stacked PUC at the time, they blew it by us.
The average struggling Mainer unwittingly bought the wind industry and its owners on Wall Street its shipping system. And this industry already gets every government gift under the sun. First Wind alone got $115 million in free money from the ARRA stimulus program right after Larry Summers jumped from his $5 million part time job at First Wind half owner D.E. Shaw to become the Obama administration's National Economic Director. Soon to be U.S. Senator Angus King got a $102 million DOE loan guarantee award based on having "breakthrough technology" that was nothing of the kind.
True, Maine ratepayers funded "only" its 8% ISO-NE share of this project, but what the media won't tell you is that an estimated $20-30 billion of similar wind-required new transmission is envisioned for the ISO-NE grid we share. Do the math - $30 billion x 8% = 2.4 billion divided by Maine's 560,000 households = Over $4,000 per household (I know the math is not exact, but you get the idea). If the media published a headline saying "Wind Power Plan to Cost $4,000+ per Ratepayer in Tranmission Costs Alone", do you think Baldacci's wind plan would have had such clear sailing? (Of course we only recently learned that the owner of the state's largest media company, Maine Today Media, S. Donald Sussman (Mr. Chellie Pingree) incubated First Wind half owner D.E. Shaw.)
The group of wind industry supporters comprising the wind task force was charged by Governor Baldacci to "remove all obstacles to wind power in this state". Their work led to the heinous 2008 expedited wind law from which so many little people in the state suffer today.
- 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 Peter 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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