Maine DEP asks First Wind to prove financial capacity (PPH)

First Wind is going to INVEST a billion in Maine? Hardly.

First Wind is going to invest a billion in themselves so that they can grab the Production Tax Credit, a lavishly generous subsidy that is the largest of all the "subsidy extenders" draining the national treasury. This will do nothing positive for Maine but will create many large negative impacts to Mainers' health, Maine's environment, Maine communities, tourism and electricity rates.

With each passing day, a larger and larger percentage of Mainers is becoming wise to this house of cards industry.

Maine DEP asks First Wind to prove financial capacity

The state wants assurances that the wind power developer has the money to finish four projects in Maine worth $1 billion.

By Tux Turkel
Staff Writer


AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is asking First Wind, Maine’s largest wind power developer, to prove that it has enough money to build four major projects that are in different stages of construction and permitting.

The request follows a Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruling last month that the state’s Public Utilities Commission erred when it approved a joint venture between First Wind and Emera Inc. of Nova Scotia, the energy company that owns two utilities in northern and eastern Maine. The projects that the DEP is scrutinizing had millions of dollars in financing from Emera, money that First Wind now can’t use.

The PUC is holding meetings to decide how to comply with the court’s ruling.

The DEP’s request affects four wind-energy projects: Oakfield Wind in Aroostook County, Hancock Wind in Hancock County, Bingham Wind in Somerset County, and Bowers Wind in Penobscot and Washington counties. Taken together, the projects could cost about $1 billion to build.



Must Read: All Eyes Should be on the First Wind – PUC Affair (The Maine Wire)

Clearly, Maine's PUC has not helped build trust in Maine's state government and has done more than its fair share in garnering Maine the distinction of having the second least trusted state government in the nation. *

Whether it's the Kurt Adams affair where their Chairman jumps to First Wind to become their director of transmission after laying the groundwork for wind-required transmission at $1.4 billion ratepayer expense over PUC staff objection, or their approval of the First Wind-Emera merger in violation of Maine law over PUC staff objection or David Littell's dual life as RGGI Vice Chair (now Treasurer)  and PUC Commissioner, the Maine PUC never ceases to disappoint.

All Eyes Should be on the First Wind – PUC Affair


Now, almost two years later First Wind has a problem.

The Court decided.  It voided the deal because Maine law clearly says that utilities cannot own, control, or have interest in generation assets. Whether that law makes sense is a subject for another column, but its present effect is to send Maine’s biggest turbine installer into a tailspin.  Anyone concerned about the economy and the environment should be paying close attention.

With no more money from the Emera spigot, now First Wind is scampering in the Street like a drunkard desperately seeking a drink. The Boston developer, brainchild of former ENRON alumni Steve Vavrik, Paul Gaynor, and Michael Alvarez, this week announced that they have gotten consent from existing creditors to raise $75 million in junk bond financing from institutional high rollers (who might want to show a loss for the tax year).  If they can raise it, that money is a fraction of what they need to stay afloat, but it restores a pulse for a few weeks or months.

Please read the rest here:

* Maine second least trusted state in the nation:

Please see the accompanying article here:

Speaking of trust, let's not forget:

‘F’ in national study means Maine ‘ripe’ for corruption


Conflicts of interest run rampant in state legislatures

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Comment by Martha thacker on April 8, 2014 at 9:34am

And voila ..both are running for elected office this year. They act like they can ignore pressing issues. The planned transmission line "upgrades" would have to run through southern ME. Mainers can look forward to increases in rates ..those gigantic transmission lines would affect tourism, land would have to be taken by eminent domain, health hazard for those living nearby, ditto for turbines...the turbines will only have a few years left of their ugly awfulness by then anyway.

Let's go to some campaign appearances for our illustrious reps. They will have to go before the public at some point in time.

Comment by Martha thacker on April 8, 2014 at 9:21am

" I despise closed-minded politicians."

Shows they have something to hide.

Rep. Mike Michaud is doing the same thing.

Money is extremely  appealing to some.

Comment by Brad Blake on April 7, 2014 at 10:50pm

Notice the photo of Mars Hill Wind on the wall of Collins' Washington, DC office.  UPC/First Wind got her under their influence way back then.  She seems to always pose pictures in front of it.  No surprise, then, that all of her constituents' letters/emails to her are responded to with a form letter and no ackowledgement of the issues we present.  I despise closed-minded politicians.

Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 7, 2014 at 3:09pm

Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 7, 2014 at 3:02pm

Comment by Martha thacker on April 6, 2014 at 9:07pm

Wonder what it would take for Maine to drop out of Iso New England and go back to regulating utilities. Because the experiment of deregulation only brought out the worst in ME politics . Rates are going to continue to go up...and they were supposed to go down.

Comment by Gary Campbell on April 6, 2014 at 11:56am

Does anyone know if Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. James A. Boyle has a brother, Kevin J. Boyle, PhD?  Here's an excerpt from KJB's bio:

I am currently a Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech. From September 2005 through March 2012 I served as Department Head.Prior to September 2005 I was a Distinguished Maine Professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Policy at the University of Maine. I also served as a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and of Professor of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, and was the Founding Director of the Center for Tourism Research and Outreach at the University of Maine. I served on the faculty at the University of Maine from 1986-2005.

I received my B.A. in Economics with Distinction from the University of Maine and M.S. in Agricultural and resource Economics from Oregon State University where I received the Savery Masters Student of Excellence award. I received my Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Wisconsin.

I have a long personal relationship with the State of Maine. I grew up in Presque Isle, went to college in Orono, and have spent most of my professional career working with natural resource issues in Maine.

Comment by Gary Campbell on April 6, 2014 at 11:39am

Kleinschmidt was also retained by First Wind for the Bowers project. Kleinschmidt designed and conducted the "user intercept survey" that First Wind presented in their application. Not that it helped them at all. In fact, no matter how First Wind massaged the results, no matter how thoroughly they twisted the facts, the survey clearly showed that the Bowers project would have an unreasonable impact on the use of the Downeast Lakes and the likelihood of people's continued use.

When Stacey Fitts was pulled out of mothballs by First Wind to testify as an "expert witness" at the hearing, I pointed out to the DEP that he is employed by the company that conducted the survey. First Wind jumped up and proclaimed that Fitts works in a different department! Apparently First Wind believes that bias, loyalty, control and influence can not extend from one department to another! Riiiiiiight!

Comment by Brad Blake on April 6, 2014 at 10:40am

Larry, Boyle is my State Sen.  He refused to meet with me, saying he has his mind made up about wind power and it would be a waste of time for both of us.    Of course, he has his hands in the "cookie jar".  This is why I asked Rep. Amy Volk to run against him and will work hard for her.

Comment by Mike DiCenso on April 6, 2014 at 10:12am

At least we are above Illinois...things could be worse...just trying to find something good about the rating.


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 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?" 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.”

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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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