A Letter to the Legislature - Putting Maine's wind potential in proper perspective

The following letter went to every Maine legislator today - along with the following Excel file.




*** Copies addressed to all Maine legislators via Multiple Emails ***

A lot of "biomass" got thrown around during the Baldacci era with respect to "green" energy.
For example:
"Maine is the Saudi Arabia of Wind"
"Wind will get us off foreign oil"
"We need the CMP upgrade due to aging lines".
None of these oft repeated messages were true, but that didn't stop them from being constantly repeated via the bullhorn of the media.
I'm taking a moment here to correct the Saudi Arabia moniker by putting Maine's wind potential in proper perspective using data from the NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab).
A copy of my analysis is attached. It took me all of about 45 minutes to complete. These figures have been there all along, had anyone spent any time doing a little bit of research.
Here's the overview:
There are ten states which account for 77.6% of the nation's wind energy potential - Nebraska, Kansas, SD, ND, Iowa, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Wyoming and Minnesota.
These states represent only 27.3% of the nation's area. If all states exhibited equal wind energy, you would expect a state with 27.3% of our geographic area to represent 27.3% of our wind potential. The fact that these 10 states represent 77.6% of national wind potential means they exhibit a disproprtionately high potential yield. This can be stated in the form of an index number, i.e., 2.85. In other words, the 10 states have 2.85 times more wind potential than what would be expected by virtue of their size.
Now let's look at Maine.
Maine accounts for 0.1% of the nation's wind energy potential and 0.9% of the nation's area. That translates to an index number of .11. In other words, Maine has only 11% of the wind potential that would be expected by virtue of its size.
Stating the obvious, the nation as a whole has 100% of the nation's wind potential and 100% of its area, meaning the nation has an index of 1.0. In other words, Maine's .11 index means that Maine's allocation of wind potential versus area is 89% below the national average.
The correct headline is therefore: Maine's wind potential is 89% below the national average.
Unfortunately, the headline we have had to read one to many times is "Maine is the Saudi Arabia of Wind".
If one picks apart the wind industry propaganda that has the potential to persuade well meaning legislators to unwittingly sacrifice Maine's core essence, our quality of place - increasing electricity rates, transmission charges and creating cumulative impact that will likely reduce tourism revenues, one will find that almost all of this industry'spropaganda is just as false as the Saudi Arabia moniker.
In retrospect, that line about Saudi Arabia was to elicit greed and when people get greedy they drop their guard and fall for things they shouldn't. Confidence gaming 101. Just read any email from Nigeria telling you they have discovered riches they owe you - if you'd just give them access to your bank account.
Let's please go back to the very start of the expedited wind law that was never debated in the legislature and with our guard up, study every claim anew before we grant this industry unbridled access to Maine.
Thank you in advance for doing the right thing.



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Comment by MaineHiker on May 15, 2011 at 1:57pm

Carbon Emissions
    The coal (coke) and oil required to mine, refine, manufacture, transport, install and maintain an industrial wind-turbine pollutes the atmosphere with more CO2 than that industrial turbine can ever come close to displacing. It can't happen. Wherever CO2 is produced it diffuses to everywhere in the atmosphere.
     No industrial wind-turbine can lessen our dependence on oil one iota. It is too expensive to heat our homes and run our vehicles. But the lie that it can keeps getting repeated and knowledge that it cannot and the destruction turbines cause to habitats keeps getting edited out by the media. The fact is, regardless of whether we burn the fossil fuels needed to create an industrial wind turbine or we get someone else to do it for us, we are still dependent upon coal and oil.

The life and the food chain is being attacked in the Maine wilderness. The negative impact upon raptors, and migrating birds and bats is well documented.The population count of rabbits and foxes and creatures that depend on hearing to survive is dwindling in the proximity of turbines. We have no real idea of the extent this is happening for all species or the consequences for them of living near these machines or the effects of ultra low frequency sound. The woosh and flicker of turbines is something most people find offensive and ruins property values.

Fiscal Impacts
Maine's wind potential is 89% below the national average and produces all the electricity it needs. Maine currently exports its surplus electricity as far South as Rhode Island. All of the proposed electricity produced is slated to be exported to the southern states at the expense of our precious mountain tops. Mainers are expected to pay for producing unnedded electricity and new transmission lines to handle the fluctuating trickle of electrons from those turbines. Both tax rates and hikes in the cost of electricity here in Maine would go through the roof.
Some Federal tax subsidies of electrical energy sources per KWH are listed for comparison below. (US Energy Information Administration Subsidy Report April 2008)

Coal ............$ 0.44
Nuclear........ $1.59
Nat Gas........ $0.25
Hydro........... $0.67
Wind.......... $23.37 !

Impact on Quality of Place
Maine still has a special quality of place which people from around the World cherish. People come to Maine to vacation somewhere that industrialization is absent or not all consuming. While other states ruin their landscapes with turbines, the longer and more thoroughly industrial wind turbines remain absent to Maine, the higher Maine’s desirability and tourist potential grows.


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 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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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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