Each January the Governor's Office of Energy and Security reports to the legislature on the State's progress in achieving the goals of the Expedited Wind Law - 2007 S.661. This year the legislature required the GOES to expand its review to include the following, otherwise known as the "Fitts Amendment" to LD 1366.
Public input will be essential to counteract the pro-wind bias that is contained in this amendment.
To Clarify the Expectation for the 2012 Assessment of Progress on Meeting Wind
Energy Development Goals
Sec. 1. Expectations for assessment.
Resolved: That, when the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security, referred to in this resolve as "the office," undertakes its 2011 annual assessment of progress on meeting the wind energy development goals pursuant to Public Law 2007, chapter 661, Part A, section 8,
as amended by Public Law 2009, chapter 642, Part A, section 9, it shall consider the following specific ssues.
1. In its examination of the experiences from the permitting process, the office shall specifically examine:
2. In its examination of the status of this State and each of the other New England states in making progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the office shall specifically evaluate the accuracy of the estimates generated by state agencies and wind energy developers for greenhouse gas reductions that are a result of wind energy development in this State and make recommendations for a standardized protocol, if necessary.
3. In developing its recommendations regarding the wind energy development goals established in Title 35-A, section 3404, subsection 2, the office shall consider the number of wind turbines necessary to meet the goals, market conditions, development trends, emissions goals, siting policies, cumulative impacts and other factors that may indicate it is necessary to amend the wind energy development goals.
4. In developing its recommendations regarding identification of places within the State’s unorganized and
deorganized areas for inclusion in the expedited permitting area established pursuant to Title 35-A, chapter 34-A, the office shall also consider whether places should be removed from the expedited permitting area, including, but not limited to, mountain area protection subdistricts, as described by the
Department of Conservation, Maine Land Use Regulation Commission Rule Chapter
Notwithstanding Public Law 2007, chapter 661, Part A, section 8, as amended by Public Law 2009, chapter 642, Part A, section 9, the assessment submitted in 2012 is due February 1, 2012. Following receipt
and review of the report, the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology may submit a bill to the Second Regular Session of the 125th Legislature; and be it further
Sec. 2. Additional considerations.
Resolved: That, to the extent resources are available, the office shall include the following in the annual assessment of progress on meeting the wind energy development goals pursuant to Public Law 2007, chapter 661, Part A, section 8, as amended by Public Law 2009, chapter 642, Part A,
section 9, in the assessment submitted in 2012:
1. Recommendations for the method by which permitting authorities should consider the cumulative impact on natural resources at the state or regional level, including but not limited to mountain areas and to scenic resources of state or national significance as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 3451, subsection 9;
2. The economic effects of wind energy development on the tourism industry, to the extent data are available;
3. In collaboration with the Office of the Public Advocate, an evaluation of the costs associated with transmission upgrades for the purpose of transmitting wind energy; and
4. The implications of the intermittency of wind power for regional markets and the grid, including capacity charges, the forward capacity market and electricity price volatility; and be it further
Sec. 3. Use of existing data and stakeholder input.
Resolved: That, when completing the assessments under sections 1 and 2, the office and the Office of the Public Advocate may draw on existing state data and studies rather than new analyses, including, but
not limited to, those developed for the New England Wind Integration Study published by ISO New England in December 2010, the state climate action plan pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 38, section 577 and progress evaluation in Title 38, section 578, the State of Maine Comprehensive Energy Plan 2008-2009 and any reports from the Department of Economic and Community Development, as well as on analyses by the Federal Government, nonprofit organizations and other parties. The office and the Office of the Public Advocate may also draw on input from stakeholders and interested parties to complete the assessments; and be it further
Sec. 4. Health effects.
Resolved: That, to the extent that resources are available, the Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention shall conduct an analysis of the research on health effects from wind turbines, including effects from noise, and provide a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology by February 1, 2012. The report must include recommendations for making the information in the report easily accessible to the public.