Maine Sunday Telegram Editorial Board: Wind power has been smeared


Wind power has been smeared by conspiracy theorists and climate change deniers as nothing more than a means to bleed subsidy money from the taxpayers to line the pockets of a wealthy few.

Note that this piece from the editorial board follows up on a contrived hatchet job on Governor LePage's sensible energy policies on 7/15/14. For the hatchet job, see:

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Comment by Martha thacker on July 20, 2014 at 11:21pm

Brad Blake...citizen reporter. Maine newspapers don't seem to have any. BUT..about 10 years ago, I subscribed to the BDN. It was the best newspaper that I had ever read, and I love newspapers. They did an article during the Bush administration and  was just reporting Bush Jr.'s trip to ME. It was honest, but not something you would see in other newspapers. Immediately, the BDN changed. I called the newspaper and asked to speak to an editor. I told him what I just wrote. He asked me to write a letter to the editor and to the publisher/owner. Even giving the address without my asking. I got the impression their hands were tied. The talent and intelligence is there. Don't think it is a ME problem but a national  one. All newspapers are losing subscribers and selling out. Have never liked hearing lazy is too much , too many places and it is homogenized. Boring.First Wind is tied to Deustche Bank our of Germany , Credit Suisse ,UBS, Citi Bank...there are more. But they have one thing in common..being investigated and found guilty of criminal activity. I think First Wind's money is dried up and possibly other wind farm corporations ability to acquire loans honestly. We can watch to see the politicians just stop supporting them. Newspapers too. Go silent. Don't expect them to apologize or admit they were wrong. But, we won't forget who they are.

Comment by Brad Blake on July 20, 2014 at 10:47pm

I posted this comment:

I know the editorial is an "opinion" piece, but this is so rife with misinformation and lack of facts that it is yet just another of this left wing paper's attacks on Gov. LePage.  Wind is "an established alternative energy resource" only because of taxpayer subsidies and heinous mandates.  The wind industry itself admits it cannot compete without this type of ideology based favoritism.  

Off shore projects like Block Island Wind, Cape Wind, and, indeed, the price granted to this project and UMaine's Aqua Ventis are all at 24 cents per kwh.  That is more than the 8 cents per kwh PPAs being signed for on-shore wind and and far more than the 4-5 cents that is the usual price in ISO-New England's next day delivery auction.  Deep water wind technology will be far more expensive than existing shallow water. Block Island Wind & Cape Wind are both shallow water (monopoles pile driven into the bottom of the ocean using existing technology) projects.  Deep water technology is still in the experimental stage.

The editorial also misleads the public into believing that wind power is some panacea to replace fossil fuels.  Wind power is unpredictable, unreliable, cannot be dispatched, and is the most expensive per megawatt source of electricity generation.  This is true for on-shore and off-shore.  The two year average of capacity factor for Maine's on-shore wind sites is about 25%.  Even if wind blows a bit more steadily in the Gulf of Maine, the higher cost of deep water wind power will offset the slightly higher capacity factor.

It is time that the Maine Today media quit promoting the farce of wind power and do some real reporting on the industry that has far more negatives than positives and is not welcome in Maine's mountains or in the Gulf of Maine.

Comment by Martha thacker on July 20, 2014 at 12:46pm

Didn't realize PPH was such a rag.

Comment by Kathy Sherman on July 20, 2014 at 10:55am
I am limited in number of Press Herald visits, but see enough to know the mistake of saying that Statoil's investment is in ENGLAND -- It is up to 18 miles off Aberdeenshire, SCOTLAND, in very deep water. It would be good to compare wind conditions that far from shore with the putative location in Maine, but Scotland and Ireland have superior wind speeds, and those impacted by land-based wind facilities are not happy with sacrificing their wild and scenic vistas to generate electricity for ENGLAND's high population and industry, any more than rural Mainer's are. They would be highly insulted to have their home country confused with England. The location is U.K. or Britain, and it is pretty ignorant to call it England, and I hope that it is not the Governor's office at fault. The waters are Crown Estate and they may accrue the financial benefit at the expense of ratepayers, as well as the multinational, StatOIL. It is noteworthy, however, that the Crown does not allow offshore wind facillties closer than 5 miles from land, often where industry already exists - tell that to the Atlantic states looking to profit by nearshore wind.

I do not understand why pro-wind fanatics in Maine are so upset with the Governor that he wanted the Univ. Maine project to have a crack at it, given the extraordinarily high rates that will be imposed; given the investment that Maine has presumably made in their university, and given that the investment dollars are more likely to stay in the state or region, along with whatever jobs are created directly and indirectly. It therefore seems like a bogus criticism to me, having nothing to do with global warming, etc. One hopes that the Governor will maintain his concern for the cost to ratepayers and grid reliability, and not just take the easy way out of Canadian hydro and wind, with massive buildout of transmission and gas pipeline infrastructure. New England governor's have held fantasy and knee-jerk reactions for too long - we need sensible energy policy.
Comment by Whetstone_Willy on July 20, 2014 at 10:39am

Industrial wind power, essentially the spawn of the crooks at Enron has gotten as far as it has for one reason: Bribery.

Environmental groups, selectmen and politicians at all levels as well as the media, e.g., MPBN taking over $25,000 every year from one wind company alone, not to mention from others which support wind, such as Portland law firms. 

The former majority owner of Maine Today media seemingly encourages wind companies seeking investment dollars on his website:

If a media company owner has investments in the wind industry, it should be disclosed to readers.


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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