Maine counties chafe at lower-than-expected payments from wind farms

EXCERPTS:

By Bill Trotter | Bangor Daily News | April 8, 2021

For nearly two decades, commercial wind farms have been touted in Maine as a way to generate electricity without pollution, and as a way rural locales in Maine can generate revenue for themselves by hosting turbines worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

But several counties and towns are finding out they are getting less revenue out of the wind projects than they had expected when they were wooed in the 2000s and 2010s by developers looking to erect turbines several hundred feet tall along local remote, elevated ridgelines. In some cases, the developers are arguing that recent advancements in wind turbine technology have made newer models so efficient that older, less efficient turbines erected nearly a decade or more ago have lost much of their taxable value.

In Franklin County, Maine Revenue Services granted a tax abatement on the Kibby Wind Power project that last month forced county officials to return $187,844 in tax-increment financing, or TIF, payments to Helix Maine Wind, which owns the 44-turbine wind farm.

In Hancock County, state officials granted an abatement to another wind farm, TerraForm-owned Bull Hill Wind, that is forcing the county to return $17,342 it had received in TIF payments last year for the 19 turbines erected in that county’s unorganized territory in 2012.

In Kingsbury Plantation in Piscataquis County, local officials agreed to reduce taxes on part of the Bingham Wind project by $23,000 for three years in a row, from 2018 through 2020. The firm that currently owns and operates the wind farm also sought and was granted a tax abatement in the nearby Somerset County town of Bingham, where 11 of Bingham Wind’s 56 turbines were erected in 2016.

In counties that have TIF agreements with wind farm operators in their unorganized territory, all the tax revenue generated off the turbines and related equipment – which normally would be kept by the state – is divided between the developer and the county by percentages that often change over the 30-year term of the agreement.

Somerset County officials were disappointed enough in the revenue they were getting through their TIF agreement from Bingham Wind, which includes 24 turbines in that county’s unorganized territory, that in 2017 they filed a Freedom of Access Act request with Maine Revenue Services to try to find out how the state determined its valuation for the development, which the state agency does for all development projects in Maine’s unorganized territory.

Maine Revenue Services denied the request, saying that the information was proprietary to the developer, according to David Spencer, Somerset County’s UT coordinator. The county took the case to court in an attempt to force the state to disclose its formula, but lost the case.

“We never got permission to see how the state’s value was established,” Spencer said, adding that the county was opposed to the project but pursued a TIF agreement with the developer anyway, figuring some revenue out of it would be better than nothing.

“When we finally got the checks, they didn’t live up to what we had been told we would get,” Spencer said. “Plus, the turbines are an eyesore.”...................

................Stacey Fitts, Maine asset manager for Onward, said Wednesday he could not comment on whatever Somerset County’s TIF revenue expectations may have been in 2016, because the county negotiated that agreement with now-defunct SunEdison. He said Onward reached “amicable” valuation settlements with Kingsbury and Bingham after the firm questioned the methodology the two municipalities used to determine the value of the turbines.................

................Scott Adkins, Hancock County’s administrator, said after the meeting that such a quick depreciation in value for the turbines “worries me.” If the equipment continues to rapidly become obsolete, the county’s TIF revenue also could rapidly shrink, he said.

He said state officials have suggested they might change their valuation method to base their estimates on income, rather than the market price of the equipment being used. If this happens, and if the turbines become so obsolete that TerraForm decides to shut them down, they wouldn’t generate any income at all, which could result in the county getting no TIF funds out of the facility.....................

...................TerraForm officials also did not respond Wednesday to an emailed request for comment. In addition to Bull Hill, TerraForm also owns and operates wind farms in the Aroostook County town of Mars Hill, the neighboring Penobscot County towns of Lincoln and Lee, and at Stetson Mountain in Washington County, but local officials said this week they have not been notified of any abatement requests in connection with those developments.

Please read the full article at:

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2021/04/08/maine-counties-chafe-at-...

Deal on offshore wind jobs highlights tensions with Maine fishermen  

By Tux Turkel, Staff Writer | Portland Press Herald | April 7

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2021/04/08/deal-on-offshore-wind-jo...

************************************* 


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Comment by arthur qwenk on April 9, 2021 at 5:51pm

There are already plans in the works to put in taller, larger subsidy machines into existing sites, supported by the "Green Old Scam" plans in the Biden Whitehouse.

Let us see if Maine's left wing politicians now update PL-661 to allow new larger units  with new TIF arrangements to more effectively screw Maine citizens , with no new permits being granted, only modifying the old useless permits in an "Expedited" manner to get Biden infrastructure money.

Comment by Jim Wiegand on April 9, 2021 at 11:23am

In some cases, the "developers are arguing that recent advancements in wind turbine technology have made newer models so efficient that older, less efficient turbines erected nearly a decade or more ago have lost much of their taxable value." 

With this fraud based industry having virtually no credibility or accountability, maybe all this is just another way of saying..... These tax sucking monsters are wearing out much faster than we said they would.

Or then again, maybe these professional charlatans are trying to get Maine to install this industry's new 700 ft monsters with a carrot of receiving a little more revenue.

Comment by Willem Post on April 9, 2021 at 10:00am

New England has Unfavorable Conditions for Wind and Solar

 

Some areas of the US are favorable for wind and solar systems, because of good winds, such as from North Dakota to the Mexican Border, and the sunny US southwest.

 

NE has very poor conditions for wind systems, except on its pristine ridge lines, and some offshore areas

NE has the most unfavorable conditions for solar, except the rainy US northwest.

 

As a result, the costs of wind and solar electricity, c/kWh, would always be significantly greater in NE, than in the more favorable areas.

 

In the windy areas, owners of very large-scale wind systems are paid about 5 c/kWh; they are said to be “competitive” with traditional fossil power plants.

 

However, these owners would need to be paid about 9 - 10 c/kWh, if there were no subsidies, including the Production Tax Credit, PTC, of 1.8 c/kWh; tax credits are like gifts, they are much better than deductions from taxable income.

The PTC, started in 1992, has been in effect for 28 years!! It looks like it will never end.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46576

 

Warren Buffett Quote: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate," Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit." 

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/even-warren-buffet-admits-wind-energy-is-a-bad-investment

 

Green Mountain Power, GMP: Vermont utilities buy about 1.4 million MWh/y of hydro power, at 5.7 c/kWh, under a 20-y contract, from Hydro Quebec. The HQ electricity is not variable, not intermittent and does not cause midday solar bulges

 

GMP, a Canadian company, does not want to buy more hydro power from HQ, because that electricity would just be a “pass-through”, on which GMP would make minimal profit. HQ has the electricity and is eager to sell it to Vermont.

 

Instead, GMP wants to install solar/battery system combos all over Vermont. as part of its expensive micro-grid strategy. The solar electricity (already very expensive; see table 2) is variable, is intermittent and causes midday solar bulges. However, the batteries would very-expensively take care of those grid-disturbing deficiencies.

The solar/battery combo strategy is much more profitable for GMP, even though it would lead to significantly increase electricity costs for Vermonters.

 

Both systems come with: 1) grants from various sources, 2) 30% federal investment tax credits, plus state FITs, 3) 100% depreciation over 5 years, plus 4) deduction of interest on any borrowed money. The tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the taxes GMP would have to pay on net profits.

Comment by Willem Post on April 9, 2021 at 9:09am

Subsidies and Costs of Wind, Solar and Battery Systems

 

The owning and operating cost of wind, solar and battery systems, c/kWh, is reduced by about 40 - 45%, due to subsidies, such as:

 

1) Generous state and federal tax credits

2) State and federal grants

3) Accelerated depreciation write-offs over about 5 years, much shorter than the normal 20 to 25-year, write-off period for utilities.

4) Deductibility of interest costs

 

However, because no cost ever disappears, per Economics 101, the subsidy costs are “socialized”, i.e., added, in one way or another, onto:

 

1) The rate bases of utilities, i.e., paid by ratepayers,

2) Taxpayers, by means of extra taxes, fees and surcharges on electric bills and fuel bills.

3) Government budgets

4) Government debt

5) Prices of goods and services other than electricity

6) Ratepayers, taxpayers the costs of: 1) grid extensions/augmentations, 2) grid support services, and 3) battery systems 

 

If the subsidies had to be paid by owners of wind, solar and battery systems, the contract prices paid to owners would need to be:


- At least 19.6 c/kWh, instead of 11 c/kWh, in case of large-scale solar

- At least 16.4 c/kWh, instead of 9 c/kWh, in case of ridge line wind. See table 1

 

Three Categories of Grid Subsidies 

 

1) The cost of extension/augmentation of electric grids (not paid by wind and solar system owners)

 

2) The cost of services rendered by owners of other generators, mostly combined-cycle, gas turbine plants, CCGTs, that enable wind and solar to enter and function on the grid. The CCGTs counteract the ups and downs of weather/season-dependent, variable, intermittent wind and solar outputs, 24/7/365 (not paid by wind and solar system owners).

 

3) The cost of battery systems to stabilize grids (not paid by wind and solar system owners).

 

NOTE: Many small-scale solar systems and/or a few large-scale solar systems on a distribution grid would excessively disturb the grid, especially at midday. Battery systems, with sufficient capacity, MW/MWh, could counteract the output variations of those solar systems.

 

NOTE: Wind and solar systems could not be connected to the grid without the services of the CCGTs, i.e., shutting down high-efficiency, low-CO2, low-particulate CCGT plants, and artificially diminishing/obstructing their domestically produced gas supply, advocated by RE zealots, will not be an economic option for decades, if ever.

 

All-in Cost of Wind and Solar

 

The all-in cost of wind and solar, c/kWh = price paid to owners + subsidies paid to owners + grid extension/augmentation (not paid by owners) + grid support services (not paid by owners) + battery systems (not paid by owners)

 

Pro RE folks always point to the “price paid to owner” as the cost of wind and solar, purposely ignoring or belittling the other cost categories.

 

Comments on table 2

  

- The owners of legacy systems were paid much higher prices, than owners of newer systems. This was especially the case after the onset of competitive bidding, a few years ago.

 

- Vermont legacy “Standard Offer” solar systems had greater subsidies, up to 30 c/kWh paid to owner, than newer systems, about 11 to 12 c/kWh paid to owner.

 

- Wind prices paid to owner did not have such drastic reductions as solar prices.

 

- Vermont utilities are paid about 3.5 c/kWh for various costs they incur regarding net-metered solar systems, mostly on roof tops. 

 

- "Added to the rate base" is the cost at which wind and solar are added to the utility rate base, which is used to set electric rates.

 

- “Traditional cost”, including subsidies to owner and grid support, is the cost at which traditional is added to the utility rate base, which is used to set electric rates.

 

- “Times” indicates the multiple by which wind and solar are more expensive than traditional

 

- “Grid support costs” would increase with increased use of battery systems to counteract the variability and intermittency of wind and solar

 

NOTE:

1)  The prices in table 2 should be compared with the NE wholesale grid price, which has averaged about 4.2 c/kWh, starting in 2009, courtesy of low-cost CCGT and low-cost nuclear plants, which provided at least 65% of all electricity loaded onto the NE grid in 2019.

 

- Wind, solar, landfill gas, and methane power plants provided about 4.8%, in 2019, after 20 years of subsidies

- Pre-existing refuse and wood power plants provided about 4.6%, in 2019.

- Pre-existing hydro power plants provided about 7.4%, in 2019

- The rest was mostly hydro imports from Canada and New York State, in 2019

 

https://www.iso-ne.com/about/key-stats/resource-mix/

https://nepool.com/uploads/NPC_20200305_Composite4.pdf


2) There are many other costs related to the O&M of the NE grid, in addition to wholesale prices. ISO-NE prorates these costs NE to utilities, at about 1.7 c/kWh, which is less than the 2.1 c/kWh grid support cost of wind and solar. 

 

3) Each utility has its own O&M cost, in addition to item 2, some of which are detailed on electric bills.

 

4) Vermont utilities buy electricity from various sources. Their costs average 6 c/kWh, plus ISO-NE charges of 1.7 c/kWh, for a total of 7.7 c/kWh 

 

Table 2/Vermont & NE sources

Paid to

Subsidies

Grid support

GMP

 Added to

Total

Traditional

Times

owner

to owner

cost

adder

rate base

cost

cost

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

c/kWh

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, new

17.4

5.2

2.1

3.5

20.9

28.2

7.7

3.7

Solar, residential rooftop, net-metered, legacy

18.2

5.4

2.1

3.5

21.7

29.2

7.7

3.8

Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, new

11.0

9.6

2.1

11.0

22.7

7.7

2.9

Solar, com’l/ind’l, standard offer, legacy

21.7

10.5

2.1

21.7

34.3

7.7

4.5

Wind, ridge line, new

9.0

7.4

2.4

9.0

18.8

7.7

2.4

Comment by Willem Post on April 9, 2021 at 9:06am

HIGH COSTS OF WIND, SOLAR, AND BATTERY SYSTEMS

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/high-costs-of-wind-sol...

 

The turnkey capital cost for implementing the Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, would be in excess of $1.0 billion/y for at least 33 years (2017 - 2050), according to a 2015 Energy Action Network annual report. If updated to 2021, the numbers would be about $1.25 billion/y for 29 years (2021 - 2050). The CEP lists many measures to reduce CO2 by up to 80%, including the building out of wind and solar systems. See URLs.

 

http://eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/EAN-2015-Annual-Report-... 

https://outside.vermont.gov/sov/webservices/Shared%20Documents/2016...

 

Spending on government energy programs, including Efficiency Vermont, has averaged about $210 million/y from 2000 to 2015, a total of at least $2.5 billion, but Vermont CO2 emissions increased from 9.64 million metric ton in 2000, to 9.99 MMt in 2015, an increase of 3.6%.

https://dec.vermont.gov/sites/dec/files/aqc/climate-change/document...

 

That means, on average:

 

1) These RE projects have been expensive failures for 20 years

2) These RE programs led to higher energy prices, and higher other prices, than they would have been without those wasteful programs.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/vermont-is-going-to-hel...

 

Those who advocate giving the same incompetent RE folks five times as much money per year, to implement the Shumlin/Klein-inspired VT CEP, per mandate of the unconstitutional GWSA, are very far beyond rational.

 

Advice: When you are stuck in a pit, it is best to stop digging, and find something better to do, such as increased energy efficiency, which would reduce CO2 at a very low cost per metric ton. See Appendix.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/electric-bus-systems-l...

 

New England has Unfavorable Conditions for Wind and Solar

 

Some areas of the US are favorable for wind and solar systems, because of good winds, such as from North Dakota to the Mexican Border, and the sunny US southwest.

 

NE has very poor conditions for wind systems, except on its pristine ridge lines, and some offshore areas

NE has the most unfavorable conditions for solar, except the rainy US northwest.

 

As a result, the costs of wind and solar electricity, c/kWh, would always be significantly greater in NE, than in the more favorable areas.

 

In the windy areas, owners of very large-scale wind systems are paid about 5 c/kWh; they are said to be “competitive” with traditional fossil power plants.

 

However, these owners would need to be paid about 9 - 10 c/kWh, if there were no subsidies, including the Production Tax Credit, PTC, of 1.8 c/kWh; tax credits are like gifts, they are much better than deductions from taxable income.

The PTC, started in 1992, has been in effect for 28 years!! It looks like it will never end.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46576

 

Warren Buffett Quote: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate," Buffet told an audience in Omaha, Nebraska recently. "For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit." 

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/nancy-pfotenhauer/2014/05/12/e...

 

Vagaries of Wind and Solar in New England

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/the-vagaries-of-solar-... 

This article describes:

 

1) The variability and intermittency of wind and solar;

2) Multi-day, simultaneous wind/solar lulls.

3) Duck-curves due to midday solar output bulges.

 

Here is an example of a 6-day summer lull.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/analysis-of-a-6-day-lul...

 

Here is an example of a multi-day winter lull.

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/wind-plus-solar-plus-s...

 

Midday solar output, on sunny days, often is more than needed. The “100%-RE-in-Vermont” folks want to charge the unused electricity into battery systems and discharge it during peak demand hours. They propose a $1.2 billion down-payment on “Fortress Vermont”.

 

- About $900 million would be for new battery systems, during the 2020 – 2025 period.

That would serve a solar installed capacity of 1000 MW in 2025.

At least $2 billion would be required to serve 3000 MW by 2050, per CEP

The battery capacity would be about $900 million/($750/kWh) = 1200 MWh, i.e., 300 MW delivered for 4 hours. 

 

- About $300 million would be to pay solar system owners whose electricity outputs would be curtailed during high winds and very sunny days, during the 2020 – 2025 period.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/fortress-vermont-a-mult...

 

Area Requirements of Energy Sources in New England

 

An August 2009 study for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory examined land-use data for 172 projects, representing about 80% of the installed and targeted wind capacity in the U.S., and found an average area of 85 acres/MW. 

http://www.aweo.org/windarea.html

 

This study includes all area aspects of an energy source.

According to Tom Gray of the American Wind Energy Association, the average total land use for wind
is 60 acres/MW. Table 1 assumes an average of (85 + 60)/2 = 72.5 acre/MW 

https://www.strata.org/pdf/2017/footprints-full.pdf

 

A 1000 MW CCGT plant on 343 acres produces 5.5 times the electricity of a 1000 MW solar plant on 8100 acres, i.e., solar needs 5.5 x 8100/343 = 130 times the land area of a CCGT plant to produce a MWh

 

A 1000 MW nuclear plant on 832 acres produces 6.2 times the electricity of a 1000 MW solar plant on 8100 acres, i.e., solar needs 6.2 x 8100/832 = 60.4 times the land area of a nuclear plant to produce a MWh

 

The CCGT and nuclear electricity: 

 

1) Is not season/weather-dependent,

2) Is not variable 

3) Is not intermittent

4) Has minimal CO2 

5) Has near-zero particulates

6) Costs less than 5 c/kWh for legacy plants, and about 10 c/kWh for new plants 

See table 1. See table 2 for solar costs.

 

Table 1/Source

 Capacity

CF

Area

Ridge line

Production

Times

 Production

New England

MW

acre/1000 MW

miles/1000 MW

MWh/y

solar

MWh/acre

Nuclear

1000

0.90

832

7,889,400

6.2

9,482

CCGT

1000

0.80

343

7,012,800

5.5

20,445

Wind

1000

0.30

72,500

62

2,629,800

2.1

36

Solar

1000

0.145

8,100

1,271,070

1.0

157

Comment by Willem Post on April 9, 2021 at 9:03am

Offshore Wind Turbine Systems

 

The below image shows an output simulation, MW vs calendar time, based on actual, high-wind-speed, weather data, if 1,600 MW of offshore wind turbines would be located south of Martha’s Vineyard Island, MVI.

 

The almost 1,600 MW downward spikes of output are far from trivial. They would create major havoc, if fed into the existing Cape Cod grid. ISO-NE has made studies of the impacts on existing grids, and costs of upgrades/extensions.

They would be 850 ft tall, with highly visible flashing strobe lights, even at 25 miles south of MVI

 

The flat lines at the top of the graph are due to the automatic limiting of the wind turbine output by feathering the rotor blades, to avoid high-speed winds destroying the wind turbines.

 

As shown, all of a sudden, the wind dies, and wind output spikes down from almost 1,600 MW to near zero, then, the wind suddenly reappears, and wind output spikes up from near zero to up almost 1,600 MW; during weather with high wind speeds, wind output is extremely variable, as proven by the image! ISO-NE has to make sure such extremes would be manageable under various scenarios, i, e., no surprises!

 

Existing CCGT plants, several thousand MW, would have to be in good operating condition, staffed and fueled, i.e., ready and able, to rapidly adjust outputs to counteract such extreme spikes.

 

- MA, RI, and CT are planning to have 8460, 880, and 4160 MW, respectively, a total of 13,500 MW of offshore wind by 2035, much greater than the above 1600 MW.

- If the same simulation were made for 13,500 MW of wind turbines, the up/down spikes would be at least 10,000 MW

- The existing CCGT plants would be inadequate to counteract them, i.e., output curtailments would be required.

- The 2035 date has a ring of urgency to it, but likely would be unattainable in the real world. See page 13 of nepool URL

- The more onshore and offshore wind turbines, the more CCGT plant capacity would be required for counteracting, unless wind turbine output curtailments were implemented, as in England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, etc.

 

https://nepool.com/uploads/NPC_20200305_Composite4.pdf

https://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/reality-check-regardin...

Comment by Willem Post on April 9, 2021 at 9:02am

Maine Offshore Wind Turbine Systems

 

The waters near Maine are deep. Almost all offshore wind turbines would need to be floating units, anchored at the seafloor with at least 3 long cables.

The 700-ft tall wind turbines would need to be located at least 20 miles from any inhabited islands, to reduce the visuals, especially with strobe lights, 24/7/365

The wind turbines would be far from sizable demand centers, such as Montreal and Boston.

Transmission systems would be required to connect the wind turbines to demand centers

All that would make the cost of electricity produced by these wind turbines more expensive than those south of MVI.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/deep-water-floating-off...

 

Maine is in active discussions with stakeholders to add 751 MW of onshore wind turbines, but is not in active discussions with stakeholders to add floating offshore wind turbines, per requested interconnection proposals on page 13 of nepool URL

https://nepool.com/uploads/NPC_20200305_Composite4.pdf

Comment by Art Brigades on April 9, 2021 at 8:17am

Just wait until the LLCs holding the keys to obsolete, non-performing, worthless assets don't just shut them down, but shut them down and walk away. The so-called decommissioning "plans" will be revealed as the negligent farces that they are. A fraction of the money needed to clean up the mess/hazard will be in reserve. The host counties/towns will be holding the bag. The landowners who leased to the wind LLCs will take no responsibility. After years or decades of legal wrangling the state will ultimately be compelled to deconstruct and dispose of the junk at massive unforeseen expense, filling new landfills with non-recyclable materials. And of course citizens who already got fleeced in lost property values, noise, TIFs and the utility power contracts ... we will pay for the final cleanup. Like forever chemicals and  ENRON, the scammers in the wind industry never really go away.

Comment by Penny Gray on April 9, 2021 at 7:37am

Hard to believe that once, Mainers valued and protected their mountains from development.  Now they entice industrial development on them by offering tax cuts to the wind industry, then whine when they've been taken for a ride.  Hard to feel much sympathy, but there's a lesson to be learned.

Comment by arthur qwenk on April 8, 2021 at 6:07pm

The wind interlopers were lairs in 2008  when the Wind Law came to Maine, and they are lairs now. Nothing has changed, other than the politicians wanting a  new cut as usual and not getting it, and the naïve public being financially screwed every year the subsidy machines operate. Shut them now. No loss to Mainers  for sure, and reclaim the mountains for everyone .Remove the crap, and have real residential development perhaps of some of the sites for housing and recreating so as  to generate real revenue.

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."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

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

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(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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