The data for the Third Quarter (July, August, September) for production of Maine wind projects has been obtained from the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency (FERC) and the results are, as expected, very poor. The Summer months low production completely offsets the Winter months. Unfortunately, due to air conditioning demand, the need for generation for ISO-New England is greatest when wind power fails the most. If the 4th Quarter mirrors the 2nd Quarter, it appears that in 2012, the average capacity factor of Maine's wind projects falls below 25%.
Year To Date Maine Wind Project Output
This is part of the Record Hill wind project from Roxbury Pond. This project, developed by Independence Wind and subject of much attention this year as wind site developer Angus King ran for US Senate, is a prime example of the failure of Maine wind projects. Think Maine's western mountains are always windy and thus productive wind turbine sites? Think again!
Capacity factors year to date for the Record Hill Project (see table above) are: 1st Quarter (Jan., Feb., March): 34.37%; 2nd Quarter (April, May, June): 22.57%; 3rd Quarter (July, Aug., Sept): 15.96%.
What is worse is on June 8, 2012 Independence Wind was awarded $33.7 million ARRA Section 1603 grant (free gift of taxpayer $$$)! This is an up-front payment that bails out the troubled project temporarily. This is in lieu of earning 2.2 cents per kwh from Production Tax Credit for 10 years, a smart move considering the poor performance. Does it get any worse? Yes! Using King's influence and alleging a dubious "innovation", Independence Wind obtianed a Federal government $102 million loan guarantee. With continuing poor performance, this project might not re-pay its loans and default, leaving the taxpayers to bail it out with the loan guarantee.
This is not an isolated case, as there are poor performances and many problems with and questions concerning the circumstances of Maine wind projects. It is time to end this farce and stop any further development of wind power in this state. These figures posted here tell the real facts that wind power does not work in Maine. We do not need this fickle trickle of unpredictable, unreliable, non-dispatchable, and costly electricity. We need to protect our beautiful state, its "Quality of Place", and its natural resources from industrial wind blight!