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 Donald Moore on April 26, 2014 at 10:41am
Gary and Kay,
Thank you so much for all your hard work. Without your cool head, and dedication to the Downeast Lakes and Maine's quality of place, we would not be where we are today. This success will continue to reverberate though out Maines wild and scenic places.
I think your supporters should work to rename Bowers Mountain to Mount Campbell or Campbell Mountain! Kevin Gurall gets a Mountain too for the first win with the LURC!
We have depth of talent!
Don and Paula
Comment by Pineo Girl on April 26, 2014 at 10:21am

I am so happy about Bowers!  It gives us hope! We can do win this fight!  I woke up sad this morning - I couldn't help think - What if Friends of Maine Mountains hadn't caved?  They were so close!  It could have been another victory - We must keep at it!

Comment by Whetstone_Willy on April 26, 2014 at 9:41am

Let's hope also that the bald eagles win in the pending court appeal of First Wind's Oakfield project.

Comment by Gary Campbell on April 26, 2014 at 8:39am

IMHO, PPDLW had a relatively easy battle:

  • We had an outstanding network of resources that were threatened.
  • We had early notice of First Wind's plans and so we were able to hit the ground running.
  • We had an arrogant opponent who would openly use intimidation tactics and bribes to "court" the local citizenry.
  • We had the support of several statewide organizations united in opposition to the destruction of Maine's most outstanding natural resources.

But most importantly...  we had people of character who committed themselves to the battle.

PPDLW sincerely thanks all of the people who wrote letters to their friends, LURC, DEP and their legislators. And to everyone who wrote opinion pieces or sent letters to newspapers. And to everyone who attended a LURC, DEP meeting or hearing and stood up to make their voice heard. And to everyone who attended our fundraisers and took the time to write a check to help support PPDLW in this battle.

Kudos all around.

After the first Bowers application was defeated, we received a letter of thanks from the Passamaquoddy Tribe. It said "Tonight, around a fire, our ancestors will be doing a celebration dance".  I'd like to think future generations will also celebrate what we've accomplished in protecting the integrity of the magnificent Downeast Lakes Region.

Comment by mary l truman on April 25, 2014 at 11:01pm

Such good news! Gives hope for some of the other battles for our environment!!

Comment by Martha thacker on April 25, 2014 at 8:41pm

Thank God..thank all who worked so hard and for so long to save this special part of ME. And Long Islander.. thank you for diligent tireless work.

Comment by Penny Gray on April 25, 2014 at 6:40pm

Wow.  That's the best news I've heard in a long time.  Thanks for posting and thanks to all who have worked so hard to protect this very special place!

Comment by Pineo Girl on April 25, 2014 at 6:27pm

Awesome news!!  Thank you Gary Campbell for amazing work!  And all of PPDLW!!


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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We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

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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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