Rep. Larry Dunphy asks if the $1.4 Billion MPRP CMP Upgrade was Built to Help the Wind Industry at EUT Meeting (Watch the Video)

At the EUT Public Hearing on 1/14/16 on LD 1513, during testimony by Ben Smith, Skelton, Taintor & Abbott counsel representing Houlton Water Company, EUT member Representative Larry Dunphy asked Mr. Smith, in essence, if the MPRP ($1.4 BILLION CMP transmission line upgrade) was built in anticipation of moving electrons for future wind projects. In essence, it would appear that Mr. Smith responded in the affirmative. You can decide for yourself by viewing the YouTube video at the link below.

Folks, I believe, along with many who have studied this, that this was an unwitting ratepayer funded GIFT to the wind industry but almost all of the corporate communications "selling" the public on this project cited its raison d'etre as "aging lines" requiring enhanced reliability:

That was BUNK. It was all about increasing reliability for planned wind power projects. Wind doesn't produce much electricity but on the windiest day, it can create electricity surges that will thermally overload the lines and take down the grid. There was a bottleneck at Orrington stopping wind produced feelgood electrons from being sent to the power thirsty McMansions in Connecticut and Massachusetts which thus stood in the way of immense profits for the wind companies.  This is like tripling the number of lanes on the interstate solely for the one day a year when a wide load truck must use it. They couldn't tell Mainers that there was to be a $1.4 billion price tag on top of all the other price tags for wind. So a big lie was formulated and they made the PR effort primarily about upgrading our 40 year old lines.

It also made a fortune for CMP.

It is refreshing that the sunlight is finally beginning to shine on this huge lie. Information wants to be free and these facts will be well known and accepted one day.

The MPRP's supporters have told us that Maine ratepayers will pay "only" their share of the grid, 8%. But what they don't tell us is that we will also have to pay the same 8% on all the potential similar upgrades across the New England grid (ISO-NE), estimated by some to cost $30 BILLION. In other words, under the guise of aging lines and anything but the real culprit - crony phony wind "farms", Maine ratepayers could get stuck with a wind power transmission bill of $2.4 BILLION. And they won't even know what caused it.

If there are say, 500,000 ratepayers in this state of 1.3 million people, that's a cost per ratepayer of $4,800 to unwittingly gift the wind industry so they can play three card monte with their crony electricity game.

Ben Smith's testimony on this can be seen starting at about the 43 minute mark of the following video, graciously filmed by Eric Tuttle on Thursday. Thank you Eric.

http://www.youtube.com/v/MdJfYG348d4?start=2620&end=&version=3

Note: Eric Tuttle's full video of the hearing is at:

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/ld-1513-eut-hearing

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It is high time that the people of Maine are told the true costs of wind "farms". The legislature must stop doing the bidding of this feelgood politically correct industry and start serving the people on this matter.

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Sweeping wind's transmission price tag under the carpet was part of the plan

"The task force ignored the need for massive new transmission line construction to move wind energy from turbines to market, which could be costly to ratepayers, disrupt habitat and landscape and engender significant opposition from towns and conservation groups."

http://pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-...

and

"Kurt Adams: When the governor’s task force was doing its work, Adams was head of the state’s Public Utilities Commission, although he had already had communication with wind developer First Wind about possibly going to work for them. In their report, task force members wrote “PUC Chairman Kurt Adams and agency counsel Mitch Tannenbaum, and DEP Commissioner and Task Force member David Littell were particularly helpful to the Task Force in developing and presenting information regarding the regional energy system, electric transmission, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and other renewable energy policy issues as they relate to wind power.  Adams left the PUC to take a high-level position with First Wind in May, 2008; in April, he had received 1.2 million units of equity in First Wind — akin to stock options — while he was still at the PUC. An investigation by Attorney General Janet Mills determined Adams had done nothing wrong."

http://pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/

and

"Task Force Chairman Giffen likewise had no idea how the omission occurred, and told the Center he knew of no plans to correct it.

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://pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-sk...


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Comment by Monique Aniel Thurston on January 18, 2016 at 12:05pm

My testimony to the EUT committee on LD 1513

Honorable Chairman, Co-chairman, Representatives and Senators of the Energy, Utility and Technology Committee.

My name is Monique Thurston, I am a member of the Thurston family which owns a four generation camp in Roxbury, Maine.
 
LD1523, is a wrong bill for the state of Maine and is a terrifying symbol of abuse of Maine residents for the benefit of an industry which is bent in destroying the State of Maine as we know it.
Why? Because it represents yet  another step in the direction of implementation of a law  LD 2283, the Expedited Wind Act of 2008 which has been fought by hundreds of Maine residents for more than half a decade  in this very same room and represent the worse case of cronyism this State has ever known. 
 
Wind power in Maine is a chess game, a chess game for those protected by multinational companies and allies in the current administration.  It is a game that took 20 years to design, a game that redefined new rules for state and federal agencies, reshaping their mandates of protecting America’s citizens and majestic lands into doing the exact opposite.  A game that put people’s rights and public health behind those of the wind industry and simply ignored the complaints of those disturbed by the maddening whoosh of turbines.
 
Wind power is a game that turns electricity, which is already expensive, into a thrice absurdly expensive commodity hurting the pocketbook of residential and business customers alike. First in the purchasing cost, second in the cost of subsidies necessary to support the inefficiency and unreliability of this industry and third in the ratepayer-funded new electrical transmission structures required to accommodate the thermal stresses of spurting wind generation.
 
Wind power is a game that sacrifices America ’s natural heritage for the profits of parasitic corporations adept at exploiting government policies, political correctness, guilty consciences of environmental organizations and fears about our environment.
 
In 2010 John Baldacci, now  Vice -Chairman of Avangrid was in a hurry. He badly wants to win at this wind power game. He saw the growing statewide opposition and the national economic conditions endangering his strategy. He saw his eight years as governor ending in five short months and fears a new administration with the common sense to put an end to the wastefulness of public spending, increased costs in electricity and human suffering.
 
John Baldacci designed the game when he proposed and signed a law, LD 2283, that removed all obstacles to the permanent disfigurement of hundreds miles of mountain ridges with thousands of wind turbines, twice the height of the tallest building in the state.  But along the way he got help.
 
His friend and chief counsel of three years, Kurt Adams, former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission and now a vice president of First Wind, helped convince the Legislature that wind power was a good game. They believed him and unanimously passed the governor’s law in 2008.
 
The law was called the “Expedited Wind Power Law” and was the result of the Governor’s Task Force on Wind Power, an exercise in ideological and environmental insanities that would set in motion sweeping and abhorrent land-use changes.
 
His other ally David Littell, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, helped implement the governor’s law by giving permits to hungry developers without serious regard for the environment he was charged to protect. David Littell was an architect of and is implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a sort of New England version of the now defunct federal cap and trade. That initiative was created at the time Maine was already a model in the use of renewables as sources of fuel for its electrical production. 
 
Now the game is changing. The law is in place but a growing opposition in the state, the country and the world is questioning and refuting the energy, economic and environmental premises of wind power.
 
Meanwhile, a $1.5 billion transmission project has recently been approved by the PUC, sold to the citizens as necessary to replace aging lines. It is now being described by the outgoing PUC chairman and Central Maine Power spokepersons as vital to the sale of wind power by a tiny few to Massachusetts and Connecticut — the real reason all along.
 
So the Governor  Baldacci kept moving his chess pieces. He  nominated Kurt Adams as a trustee of the board of the Maine University System and David Littell as the chairman of the PUC. The PUC is the agency giving permits to the building of transmission lines necessary to export wind power electrons. With David Littell as chairman, residents fighting against those new lines may just have a little bit more work to do,indeed ,later in 2012, David Littell, would vote for the Emera /First wind deal not because it was a good thing for the ratepayers but it was a good deal for First Wind who needed the cash infusion desperately. John Baldacci's plan worked perfectly.
 
The Maine university system has a sizable research program into development of the next generations of wind turbines. With Kurt Adams as a trustee, the agenda of the wind industry will be just a bit more secure.
 
If there is any hope for John Baldacci to cash in on his wind policies, he must keep the chess game moving so the game can go on and  be won.
 
With the bill proposed  in front of you, a new step in advancing John Baldacci's plan is taking shape - giving the right to Avangrid, aka Iberdola to build wind projects in Maine. It seems clear that he was the first choice to assume the position of Vice chairman of that company. 
 
For those of you who have sat through years of hearings questioning endlessly the rational behind the methodical destruction of Maine natural treasure , my letter will be very obvious , for other newer members of this committee , I urge you to connect the dots about a collusion between executive power and industry against the people of Maine .
 
Today the trust of American citizens in their government is at a all time low,, and while the word cronyism was probably unknown from 90 % of the American public 5 years ago , it is now a very hated buzzword.
 
Please do not add fuel to the fire by showing a new example of this malady coming from the beautiful state of Maine
 
Say NO to LD 1513 
 
Monique Thurston -Aniel, formerly of Mexico , Maine  is a  is a retired physician and past  co-chairwoman of the Citizens’ Task Force on Wind Powe
Comment by Brad Blake on January 17, 2016 at 11:24pm

In 2009, I attended several public hearings regarding the MPRP and handed out this flyer to people.   I was like a voice in the wilderness against the juggernaut.

STOP THE POWERLINE EXPANSION

STOP THE PROLIFERATION OF

INDUSTRIAL WIND SITES IN RURAL MAINE

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN CMP’S MAINE POWER RELIABILITY PROGRAM AND WIND POWER PROJECTS

Citizen’s Task Force on Wind Power (CTFWP), http://www.windtaskforce.org/ opposes the approval by the Maine PUC of CMP’s proposed expansion of transmission lines. CTFWP understands that transmission capacity is adequate for Maine’s existing needs and supports, planned, necessary upgrades to our existing Maine grid to better service our local needs. This should be an on-going function, part of the company’s business plan. Consistent upgrades and making Maine’s local grid “smarter” and more efficient should ensure reliable delivery of electricity for decades to come without adding large transmission capacity.

However, CMP is owned by utility giant Iberdrola of Spain. CMP makes its money by transmitting electricity. It is no longer the friendly, locally owned utility we are used to. Iberdrola is the world’s second largest operator of utility scale (or industrial) wind sites (which the industry euphemistically refer to as “wind farms”). This company stands to make millions of dollars at taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ expense if the transmission lines are expanded. Not just for utility scale wind sites envisioned in Maine, but for every kilowatt that flows through Maine from Canada to destinations in southern New England. Thus, they are aggressively pursuing expansion of transmission lines that does nothing positive for Maine but will wreak havoc with our quality of place and threaten our health and well being.

Iberdrola, First Wind, Trans Canada, Angus King and others lobbied heavily for the Maine Legislature to enact the so-called Expedited Wind Permitting statute in 2008. (MRSA Title 35-A, Chapter 34-A). That statute incorporates the goals of the Governor’s Task Force on Wind Power (a stacked deck to ensure an outcome if there ever was one!) for installed capacity for wind energy in Maine. 2,000 MW by 2015 and 2,700 MW land-based and 300 MW off-shore by 2020. This was driven through the legislature as an emergency measure without any thought to adequately educating the public about the pro’s and con’s of utility scale wind and thus with little input from an unsuspecting citizenry. Strictly a deal to open the floodgates for ravaging rural Maine with industrial wind turbines. Wind turbines erected not for the potential of generating a substantial amount of electricity---because they do not---but rather to suck millions of dollars in subsidies from the taxpayers and expensive electricity costs from ratepayers. What the industry calls a “wind farm” is more appropriately a “subsidy plantation”.

Any way you look at it, the wind sites are the reason for the huge, health menacing transmission line expansion and without the powerline expansion, the sprawling industrial wind sites never get built!

There has been relentless pressure for years to open Maine up for sprawling industrial wind sites. Simply put, we are seen as a poor, rural state that has large tracts of land owned by a single entity. Perfect for siting a “wind farm”. Overlooked is the fact that most of the state is rated as “poor” wind energy potential, meaning that a wind turbine in Maine is likely to produce less than a quarter (25%) of its rated capacity. It doesn’t matter, as the wind industry is so heavily subsidized and given preferential market treatment that each kilowatt generated earns money in three ways: the grid must purchase it; it earns 2.1 cents production tax credit; it can be sold as a Renewable Energy Credit.

What does meeting the installed capacity of 2,700 MW mean to rural Maine? This analysis is based on the “Rollins Project” of First Wind in Lincoln as a typical installation utilizing 1.5 MW GE turbines. Rollins is rated at 60 MW, with 40 turbines, each 389 feet high from base to apex of the blades. To install these 40 turbines, it means blasting away more than 7 miles of the ridgelines of Rollins Mt. and four unnamed ridges in the Rocky Dundee area. It means a network of 60 foot wide access roads up and across all these slopes. Tying together the turbines and the feeder to the Bangor Hydro lines means 20 miles of powerlines. The total footprint of the turbine pads, access roads, powerlines, and other infrastructure means at least 1,000 acres permanently clearcut. What isn’t graveled over will be kept clear using herbicides. Thus, the silt and herbicides of the project end up washing down from the ridges into 15 lakes and ponds and into three major rivers. Please refer to www.friendsoflincolnlakes.org for more information. Click on the loon icon to view the slide show that includes photos of First Wind’s Stetson I project.

If the state were to meet the goal of 2,700 MW of installed capacity, based on the Rollins Project, it means 45 more similar sized projects. 45 X 7= 315 miles of ridgelines blasted away. If the 1.5 MW turbines are used, it means 45 X 40=1,800 turbines. 45 X 1,000=45,000 acres permanently clearcut. All this destruction of natural resources, fragmentation of wildlife habitat and disruption of the lives of people living within the impact zone of the turbines is not, remember, for 2,700 MW but 25%, or 675 MW, just a bit more than the Calpine generating plant in Westbrook, which takes less than 100 acres and is a reliable baseline generating plant, not the unreliable, unpredictable, intermittent generation of wind turbines.

Maine does not need 45 sprawling industrial wind sites

Maine does not need to expand any transmission lines

Maine does not need to destroy what we cherish to feed electricity, whether from wind sites or from Canada, to Southern New England

Stop CMP/Iberdrola’s $1.4 billion folly that threatens the health and well being of Mainers. Pull the Plug!

Contact Brad Blake: bblake02@maine.rr.com

Comment by Steve Thurston on January 17, 2016 at 1:46pm

The real reason for the MPRP is well documented in PUC transcripts,  newspaper reports and Governors Task Force on Wind Power documents.  In 2012 the issue was thoroughly researched by Long Islander. Just click the tab, "Costly Transmission" at the top of this page.  It was no secret that wind power was the main beneficiary of the MPRP, but the deal between Baldacci and Iberdrola was a fait accompli and there was no stopping it.  Is it any wonder that Baldacci now works for Iberdrola?  He finally collected what was owed. 

Comment by alice mckay barnett on January 17, 2016 at 12:09pm

Thank You all for pushing and pushing for the truth.

Comment by Gary Campbell on January 17, 2016 at 10:30am

Thank you, Eric.

Thank you Rep Dunphy.

Thank you Ben Smith of Houlton Water Co.

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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