BDN Editorial Board: Legislature should set standards to ensure offshore wind development benefits Maine


......lawmakers are considering legislation that furthers the development of not just wind energy generation, but also perhaps, growing an industry to build the components and technology used for that generation, including port facilities.

Rather than leave decisions about the siting and growth of the industry to private companies or the federal government, this legislation would give the state more control over the location and growth of the industry in Maine.

It is important that the state move forward now before other states develop and grow their own industries, potentially leaving Maine behind..................

................To this end, the Maine Legislature is considering several bills related to offshore wind power. One directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission to increase the amount of wind power generated in Maine through a series of procurement contracts. This is a foundational first step in jumpstarting offshore wind energy development in the state by increasing the demand for this clean energy source.

The bill contains provisions about hiring local workers and protecting the state’s lucrative lobster fishery. This latter provision earned the legislation praise from some in the lobster industry, support that is vitally important if the offshore wind industry is to develop in Maine. The bill also requires engagement with the many communities impacted by offshore wind development, including Wabanaki people in Maine.

Another bill, which dovetails with the procurement legislation, focuses on the standards for the development of port facilities to support this new industry. It does not say where that port should be but emphasizes the quality of jobs.

Provisions from this bill have now been combined with legislation, backed by Gov. Janet Mills, that has passed initial votes in both the Maine House and Senate. Coupled with the procurement legislation, this can put Maine in a good position to develop and grow a cleaner energy source while creating a wide range of high-quality new jobs in Maine.

A labor and climate advocacy group released a poll Monday showing that Maine people support offshore wind development here and want it done with appropriate protections for Maine workers.

In addition to diversifying the state’s energy supply and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building an offshore wind industry, including port facilities, in Maine has the potential to create thousands of jobs as part of a growing international industry.

Lawmakers and the governor now have the chance to grow this burgeoning industry in a way that benefits Maine people, while safeguarding the state’s environment and marine economy.



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Comment by Willem Post on June 13, 2023 at 8:07am

It is nice for the Maine legislature to have a shopping list to create industrial infrastructure 

Industries consume a lot of electricity, which would be costing high prices per kWh, if from unproven floating wind turbines.

That cost likely will he charged to HOUSEHOLD RATE PAYERS, to ensure lower rates for industries, to avoid scaring them away.

Once you go the “market distortion” route, there is no end to it.

The convolutions are endless.

The propaganda to make it look great will fool no one

Germany and the UK, with lots of wind turbines, have become economic basket cases.

It will end with huge capital expenses, increased economic inefficiencies, and a lower standard of living

Comment by Dan McKay on June 13, 2023 at 5:16am

If these PUC procurements follow means and methods historically used, the ratepayers will pay big bucks which will be hidden in details of stranded costs tracked and collected by the utilities on behalf of the project owners.

The renewable energy credits will remain with the project owners who will sell them to Massachusetts and Connecticut

Maine doesn't need offshore wind; it needs the spine to confront the heavy hands of Massachusetts and Connecticut who own the ISO-NE and dictate the New England renewable energy standards.


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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