PPH: Maine board sets stage for rejection of First Wind project

Posted: May 1, 2014
Updated: Today at 12:45 AM

Maine board sets stage for rejection of $100 million wind project

The Bowers Wind Project would have an adverse impact on Downeast’s scenic lakes and the people who use them, members say.

By Tux Turkel tturkel@pressherald.com
Staff Writer


The board’s action on the Bowers Wind project, proposed by a subsidiary of Boston-based First Wind, sets the stage for a vote next month in which the state of Maine, for the first time, would formally reject plans for a major wind energy project.

Bowers Mountain is in a region that includes the fabled fishing mecca of Grand Lake Stream, and the chain of lakes that attract sportsmen from around the country. Guides, some camp owners and other people who value the remote, forested setting and the dark night sky bristled at the idea of turbine towers with flashing lights, visible from far off ridges. In its latest configuration, each turbine tower would stand 450 feet tall from the ground to the blade tip.

“It’s widely recognized that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Juliet Browne, First Wind’s lawyer, remarked at one point.



Appeals board delays likely rejection of $100M Bowers Mountain wind project

First Wind attorney Juliet Browne argues for her client at a Board of Environmental Protection appeal hearing in Augusta on Thursday.

First Wind attorney Juliet Browne argues for her client at a Board of Environmental Protection appeal hearing in Augusta on Thursday.

Posted May 01, 2014, at 4:43 p.m.
Last modified May 01, 2014, at 5:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — An appeals board delayed issuing a formal decision Thursday that could decide the fate of a $100 million wind-to-energy facility proposed for Bowers Mountain. However, it said a denial of the project is likely to be upheld. Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Patricia Aho said it was probable that the project would be denied then. Project opponents expressed gratitude at the likelihood, while a First Wind spokesman said the company would strongly consider appealing to state’s top civil court if Aho’s prediction comes true. “It sounds like they are going to deny the project,” First Wind Project Director Neil Kiely added.


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State agency recommends board deny Bowers Mountain wind project

Posted April 29, 2014, at 5:47 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — State environmental officials have recommended that the Board of Environmental Protection reaffirm the denial of a proposed $100 million, 16-turbine wind-to-energy site in eastern Penobscot County, officials said Tuesday.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection staff members Jessica M. Damon and Mark Bergeron advised the appeal board in a 12-page memo dated this month that the proposed 48-megawatt facility would have too negative an impact on the views of several lakes and..., the site of the proposed development.



Updated: 12:13 AM

Down East wind project to go before Board of Environmental Protection

The board will decide whether to reverse a decision rejecting turbines for scenic reasons.

By Joe Lawlor jlawlor@pressherald.com
Staff Writer


“I think it’s going to be really hard for a board to reverse a recommendation by an agency that spent the better part of a year researching this,” Campbell said. 




The staff of Maine's Board of Environmental Protection has completed its analysis of the record in the matter of Champlain Wind LLC's and Bowers Mountain LLC's appeals of DEP's 2013 denial of a permit to build the Bowers Mountain Wind Project.

They have recommended
that the BEP affirm the denial!

To read the draft order document, please click here.

And more information at: http://www.ppdlw.org/

Views: 1684


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Comment by alice mckay barnett on May 5, 2014 at 4:05pm

Visual Impact

Comment by Pineo Girl on May 2, 2014 at 11:38am

Gary and Kay  - We can't thank you enough for your careful diligent ability to carry this fight against the Bowers Proiect to a successful end - NO TOWERS ON BOWERS!!!

Comment by Whetstone_Willy on May 1, 2014 at 10:11pm

BREAKING NEWS: major setback to industrial wind project

(Augusta, Maine) The Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) held a meeting today in Augusta, Maine to review the denial First Wind's Bowers Wind Project by the Maine Department of Environmenal Protection (DEP). After a long day of testimony and deliberation, the BEP voted 4-1 to move closer to a "likely rejection" of the Bowers Wind Project. We are happy to report an excellent showing by our friends and allies. CLICK ON THE VIDEO for a quick pan, revealing a room JAMMED with industrial wind foes. Here's a good article by theBANGOR DAILY NEWS.


Comment by Martha thacker on April 30, 2014 at 5:06pm

pineo girl

Comment by Pineo Girl 21 hours ago

"Martha - This is not First Wind or the Lewiston Sun getting after FMM This article was generated by reviewing Court documents files in Franklin County by the AG" 

First Wind has managed to install their people throughout ME govt in clear conflicts of interest..bend the truth like  a pretzel repeatedly...permitted to build wind farms with no way to prove financing ...kill birds..and the AG never investigated before.

Comment by Janice Anderson on April 30, 2014 at 8:17am

I've been reading the thread below. Count me as one of those who thinks it's very bad PR to publicly display disunity. We're all in this together. To quote Benjamin Franklin, "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately." Kudos to EVERYONE for their great work.

Comment by Art Brigades on April 29, 2014 at 10:47pm

I suggest that everybody watch this --- http://bit.ly/1iyK8Kt --- and then explain the political logic of trashing FOMM. In my opinion, that’s the LAST thing we need in the fight against industrial wind. Purists and absolutists win battles here and there, but they don't win the war. Anyone who opposes industrial wind in any way has my unqualified support. I’m with Martha Thacker, Whitestone_Willy and Mike DiCenso. United we stand.  I've never talked with Chris O'Neal but I have Rand Stowell.  His group has answered the complaint and provided all the documents to the attorney general to prove FOMM is doing business by the book. To compare hopeless Saddleback to hopeful Bowers is apples and oranges. FMM fought Saddleback for 4 or 5 years, and they lost every time, 4 permit acceptances.  The deck was stacked.  Bowers has won every time.  3 going on (knock wood) 4 wins.  Same issues: scenic impact but different scenic resources. Different everything.  FOMM was able to win lower noise limits at Saddleback.  They won a smaller windfarm.   I personally have talked with people living around Saddleback and Webb Lake who would have got NOTHING when Saddleback got built because the permit was granted years ago.  FOMM stuck up for them and gave dozens of homeowners a chance to get property value guarantees and compensation for harm. Some people even had their homes bought for way above market value.  Saddleback Wind had to deal with all those people because of FOMM.  Is it hard to beat a wind project? Of course.  That's the law.  Just look at the record:  wind is batting about 900 in Maine.  FOMM paid all the legal fees and noise studies for those local people and lots of those people didn't even know FOMM was working to protect them.  Rand Stowell lost huge property value himself.  Anyone who would denigrate his heroic efforts all these years needs there ears boxed.  We should be building a statue of Rand.  And his organization dragged out a hopeless case to the very end hoping the tax credits would expire.  So he let a rogue committee member go and now the rogue is looking for revenge by smearing the great work that FOMM has done and continues to do. Lots of wars are won after losing many battles within those wars.  Rand got off the battlefield after saving as many of his comrades as he could.  And his group is still alive and fighting the war harder than ever.  Look at all they have done.  Close ranks and get on board or get off.  The windy industry is too powerful for us to be fighting internally. 

Comment by Pineo Girl on April 29, 2014 at 7:35pm

Martha - This is not First Wind or the Lewiston Sun getting after FMM This article was generated by reviewing Court documents files in Franklin County by the AG. And it was not instigated by First Wind. There are many individuals who have donated to FMM who are very angry about recent actions by Chris and Rand. We will not know the outcome of the investigation for months But I personally do not think it will please many wind warriors who have worked tirelessly to combat wind.

Comment by Martha thacker on April 29, 2014 at 4:11pm

Pineo Girl

When ME got their 19% hike in electrical bills...not one ME newspaper thought that was worth reporting. BDN transcribes for business and govt. with a footnote / bone thrown to opposition at the very bottom of it's articles. So if the Lewiston Sun is trashing FMM , Rand and Chris...my first reaction would be that the group is making a difference. Desperation call by First Wind and all because the tides are finally turning against them.

Comment by Whetstone_Willy on April 29, 2014 at 12:24am

I agree with Mike DiCenso - all hands on deck. United we stand.

Please no trash talking here. This is not the place.

Comment by Pineo Girl on April 28, 2014 at 9:26pm

All I know is what I read in the Lewiston Sun - AG's office investigating FMM, Rand Stowell,Chris O'Neil Innocent until proven guilty but it breaks my heart that people legitimately donated money to a group to fight wind - As PPDLW has fought wind and the fight was abandoned without consulting those donors  We have a huge battle to wage! Many have been waging it for years - We need to get the truth out - and not delivered by TURNCOATS!!


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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