FAKE NEWS FROM AP: LePage energy adviser repeats tall tale about UMPI wind turbine

The zero-credibility media owe Mr. LaBrecque an apology and the people of Maine truthful coverage of an industry they've protected and promoted at the expense of everyone else.

By The Associated Press July 26, 2018

An informal energy adviser to Republican Gov. Paul LePage has repeated a tall tale about the wind turbine at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.

Refrigeration technician James LaBrecque told WVOM-FM on Wednesday that the university uses outside power to turn the turbine blades when there’s no wind to avoid questions from the public.

That’s not true.

University spokeswoman Rachel Rice said wind is required for the blades to turn..............................

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Separate (Not from AP) coverage:


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Comment by Long Islander on July 27, 2018 at 1:25pm

The UMPI wind turbine's originally projected 1,000,000 kWh annual projection, upon which they secured project approval and public money,  would have been based on a capacity factor of 19.0%. The actual capacity factor achieved since the turbine's May 2009 start has been 10.1% as shown in the following table:


Based on the above, the UMPI wind turbine produced 4,681,517 kWh since it began spinning May 15, 2009 through Feb 12, 2018, a total of 8.75 years. This translates to an average annual production of 531,824 kWh per year versus their long touted going in estimate of 1,000,000 kWh per year. In other words only 53% of predictions. I'm assuming if a University of Maine student racks up a 53 on a test, they fail the test.

With each passing day, the aforementioned 8.75 years goes up (now over nine years) and the 10.1% capacity factor gets even lower. The University of Maine bragged about the turbine in the press who happily gave them all the publicity they wanted -- however bogus. There was a film produced, "Wind 101", to boast further. University president Zillman went on a road trip bragging about the achievement and they even happily accepted an award for their achievement. The press covered it all.

But now that this extremely expensive flushing of millions of dollars of public money down the toilet and the University's tremendously flawed prognostications have come to light, why is the media not reporting the outright failure? Where is the fiscal accountability? Where is the promised transparency from the University of Maine? Where are the UMS board of trustees on this? Where are the Maine PUC commissioners - the PUC's then commissioner Kurt Adams (who then jumped to wind developer First Wind just as heinous expedited wind law creator Gov Baldacci jumped to wind developer Avangrid) having given the project $50,000 and its blessing? Why is the oft stated initial goal of $100,000 annual savings and 572 tons of CO2 avoidance annually still being claimed by the University of Maine when electricity production per year was about only half of the annual going in estimates? How does that math work? Why did the University of Maine QUIETLY drop the 1,000,000 kWh goal to 700,000 annual kWh on July 20, 2010 and not announce this change? This is the transparency they went out of the way to promise Mainers when seeking approval? Please explain this. Anything less is abdication of fiscal responsibility. In most fields it would be considered malpractice. The wind industry is an open and festering sore that has been hurting Maine and Mainers for over 10 years. The only disinfectant for this sort of thing is the truth. When will the University of Maine give Maine and Mainers what it is owed - the truth?

Comment by Frank Haggerty on July 27, 2018 at 11:42am

THE LAW OF WIND A Guide to Business and Legal Issues


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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