James J. Lutz
23 Jefferson Street
Bangor, Maine 04401-4851
Home/Fax 207-990-2544 Cell 207-949-2887
July 12, 2013
Re: Bingham Wind Project
Mr. Daniel Courtemanch
Division of Land Resource Regulation
Bureau of Land & Water Quality
Dear Mr. Courtemanch;
I will not be able to attend the meeting on July 22, 2013 regarding the Bingham Wind Project Proposal. I would like to put forth some questions that should be directed at the developers and get answers before another ridgeline in our beautiful state is destroyed by industrial wind. These questions are of vital importance before any shovel of earth is turned.
- Is our current grid substantial enough to adequately carry the fluctuations in the power that comes from wind generated power? If not, how much more money has to be paid by the Maine ratepayers to bring it up to standards? We just spent $1.4 billion and raised the rates between 12.5% and 19.8%, all paid by the ratepayers.
- Will building this wind site allow us to close any of the currently operating gas or hydro generating plants? Will building ten more sites close any plants?
- Will building this wind site improve our air quality or reduce CO2 emissions significantly?
- Can this site be built and maintained without government subsidies? Are these companies willing to put up their own money to build these sites and operate them competitively?
- What percentage of the turbines rated output will the actual output of the site be, not just on a good wind day, but on a yearly average?
- How many actual permanent jobs will be created after the construction is finished? How many Mainers will be involved in the construction? How much of the actual materials used in the construction are created here in Maine? How much actually comes from overseas?
- Can we be guaranteed that there will be no health issues from noise and shadow flicker? Can we be guaranteed that our property values will not be reduced or even wiped out by siting this wind facility.
- Will the lights at night be able to be turned off and on by radar when a plane enters the airspace? Constant flashing lights are extremely annoying to the quality of place where we used to enjoy Dark Skies Bortle #1 Skys.
- What are the rates that will be charged for wind generated power? How do they compare to the rates we currently get from gas and hydro powered energy? We have virtually no coal or oil produced electricity in Maine, so what will the wind do to our rates?
- How many CO2 sequestering trees will have to be cut and kept from growing again with herbicides to build this project? This includes roads, turbine sites and surrounding clearcuts. Will the roads be kept up so they don’t wash out like the ones on other sites, with silt and soil washing into streams and brooks, and flowing down with their pesticides and herbicides into our lakes? I have pictures to show this happening on the Rollins Project.
Mr. Courtemanch, these are serious questions that have not been adequately answered in the past. Our misguided policies have led us to a breaking point where the Department of Environmental Protection has shirked their responsibilities to the people of Maine for the folly of wind. These companies should be paying us and selling us energy at competitive rates if this was a good idea. They would be chomping at the bit to do this if it was profitable. But we are giving up our “Quality of Place” and paying for it to boot. The land in Maine is what people from away come here to see, to marvel at our vast wilderness just a few miles from any center of civilization. Maine has always had that quality, and industrial wind deprives us from that.
Please pose these questions to the developers. I really don’t think they have any good answers for any of them. To be honest, I already have the answers from facts that we already know. This is just a bad plan for our future.
Thank you in advance for your time, and I expect more than just a form letter in reply. Then I will know you have read it and thought about some of the questions yourself.
Very truly yours,
James J. Lutz Bangor, ME
Cc: Patricia Aho, Gov. Paul LePage, Sen. Andre Cushing,