Maine Voices: Transmission deficit is holding back wind in Maine

This appears to claim that the $1.4 Billion CMP upgrade (Maine Power Reliability Program) had nothing to do with wind power. In fact, the CMP upgrade was a ratepayer funded gift to the wind industry. Essentially, ratepayers bought the wind industry its shipping system. See: for more on this.

Maine Voices: Transmission deficit is holding back wind in Maine

Five large onshore wind projects have been canceled because there was no way for customers to get the power.

...........However, as Maine has discovered since 2008, planning energy projects is the easy part. The difficult part is building transmission infrastructure and reshaping the state’s energy system to deliver new renewable energy to customers in a cost-effective way. Maine’s onshore wind efforts over the last decade provide a cautionary tale as officials look to the ocean for a fresh renewable energy source.......................

The largest impediment to the development of wind in Maine has been the lack of an adequate transmission system.

At least five large wind projects were cancelled because transmission constraints prevented their electricity from reaching customers.....................Transmission bottlenecks weren’t the only thing that prevented these five projects, but they played a fundamental role. The central problem was one of geography: Maine’s largest wind resources are located the north, while the state’s only long-distance high voltage transmission lines are located to the south and east. Even this existing infrastructure has been plagued by congestion as power moves from north to south. In fact, Aroostook County – the location of three of the cancelled wind projects – has no connection to the U.S. grid at all, but instead is connected to the power system of New Brunswick, Canada. .........................

After Maine set ambitious wind energy goals in 2008, wind farm developers submitted a raft of project proposals. They found a power system unable to support their new generation, and only a handful of planned projects ever took place. Like any infrastructure project, new transmission brings difficult cost and environmental choices that require extensive cooperation and joint planning. But transmission also serves as an enabler, creating jobs, investment, and clean energy opportunities.

The five stalled onshore projects – King Pine, County Line, Somerset Wind, Moose-Alder, and Number Nine – each required some degree of new transmission infrastructure. Multiple proposals were put forward to accomplish this, with each rejected or delayed at various stages of development. The Maine Power Reliability Program, a $1.4 billion construction project completed between 2010 and 2015, improved parts of Maine’s transmission infrastructure but did not consider the needs of new onshore wind projects or lay the groundwork for future upgrades......................................


Iain Addleton is a summer associate at Anbaric Development Partners in Wakefield, Massachusetts, an energy transmission developer. He recently graduated from the Fletcher School at Tufts University with a master’s degree in energy policy and business strategy.


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Comment by Willem Post on July 29, 2019 at 5:12pm

Remember, that 7269 acres of clear cutting, which was absorbing CO2 at about one metric ton per acre per year, will be forever lost for that service to the environment.

The carbon in the soil will become greatly reduced.

Trees are about 50% water and 50% wood, and 50% of the dry wood is carbon.

When clearcutting took place in the 1800s, carbon and other vital nutrients were lost as well.

It is likely the soil has not recovered from that assault.

That means regrown trees would not be as robust as those before the clearcutting; weaker, with  shorter lives, more prone to sicknesses.

The forest should not have any intrusion by people.

That way they would continue to store maximum carbon, for decade after decade, just what is needed to reduce global warming.

It is time to set aside the totally insane notion the forest is for jobs and logging, and harvests are for burning

Comment by Willem Post on July 25, 2019 at 11:39pm

Running a transmission line on tall towers involves a 200 ft wide corridor about 300 miles long, if the electricity is to be used in Massachusetts.

The line would be an HVDC line, because an HVAC line would have too much resistance.

Clearcutting required would be required for most of that route.

Clearcut area would be 200 ft x 300 miles x 5280 ft/mile = 316.8 MILLION sq ft or 316.8 million/43580 = 7269 acres.

Burning the Clearcut Harvest for Heating and Generating Electricity


Year 1: If our clearcut harvest had been burned in year 1, the combustion CO2 would start to be absorbed after year 40, the “C neutrality” year.

C release due to biomass decay would still be ongoing for about 40 to 50 years after year 40. 

Our combustion CO2 would just hang around in the atmosphere until the time for its absorption.

All the other sinks already are busy absorbing other CO2.

No spare sink is available for our CO2.

OurCO2 cannot push other CO2 aside by claiming a holier than thou pedigree.


Year 2: The combustion CO2 of year 2 would have its own clearcut area, with new tree growth, and NEP, etc., and would start to be absorbed after year 41, its “C neutrality” year.


Year 45: The useful service life of a woodchip plant usually is about 45 years. The CO2 of year 45 would start to be absorbed in year 86.


Absorption Period of Combustion CO2


Carbon is about 50% of wood, by weight.

A standing forest is about 50% water, by weight

The Vermont aboveground carbon was 72.53 Mt/ha, in 2015, per USFS. See table 2

Wood chips for combustion would be 73.53/(0.5 x 0.5) x 0.75 = 217.59 Mt/ha, if 75% of trees were removed.

The rest would be left to decay on the forest floor.

CO2 emissions are about 1.0 Mt/Mt of as-harvested wood chips.

CO2 emissions would be about 217.59 Mt/ha

In Vermont, the absorption period of combustion CO2 is about 217.59/2.421 = 90 years. See table 1

Remember, the absorption of combustion CO2 would start after the “C neutrality” year.


NOTE: CO2 is emitted from tree stand maintenance, fertilizing, harvesting, cutting, chipping, pelletizing and transport. CO2 emissions also occurred, due to setting up and maintaining in good working order the A to Z logging sector infrastructure. That CO2 is counted, just as any other CO2.


NOTE: When reading forestry articles, there appears a lot of technical jargon, which makes sense to foresters, but not to the lay public. I "translated" a part of the text of the British Columbia article into plainer English, so it would be understood by legislators, etc., as well.


Comment by John F. Hussey on July 25, 2019 at 6:03pm

What would you expect from a tout? " Iain Addleton is a summer associate at Anbaric Development Partners in Wakefield, Massachusetts, an energy transmission developer."  As for the "bird blenders" I  say GOOD, strangle the ugly, useless, unreliable bastards!  


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


(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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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."

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