Chris O'Neil: Don’t like the CMP corridor? Consider the alternatives

To supply the same amount of power as NECEC, it would take 2,500 wind turbines, 25 million solar panels or 24 new Wyman Dams.

When it comes to the New England Clean Energy Connect project, you’ve heard it all, right?

No. Sure, you’ve probably memorized the job numbers, the CO2 reduction, the unlikely alliances, the doomsday claims. But before you vote, please also consider the alternatives.

The Mars Hill Wind project is a 28-turbine array sited near Presque Isle. Most folks who’ve been to Aroostook know it. Its relatively small commercial turbines are almost 400 feet tall, not 80 to 100 feet, and they are erected prominently on ridges, not tucked into low-lying areas like power lines are. The turbine poles are 20 feet in diameter at their base, not 18 inches. They move. Blade tips reach speeds that give unlucky eagles and brown-nosed bats an exit velocity stronger than a Raphael Devers home run. Bright red turbine strobes dominate the night sky. Their subsonic noise disturbs the human ear’s equilibrium. Mars Hill is visible for up to 30 miles in the daytime, farther at night.

It has a nameplate generating capacity of 42 megawatts, and its capacity factor is about 32 percent, meaning that it averages 14 megawatts, or effectively about four months of generation per year. The 1,200-megawatt NECEC will deliver 24/7. The grid operator will rely upon this base load dispatchability, as opposed to wondering every day if Mars Hill will produce anything.

As an alternative to NECEC, we would need almost 100 new Mars Hill Wind projects performing at 32 percent to deliver the equivalent electricity to the grid. That’s over 2,500 bird-chopping, thumping, flashing towers, 40 stories tall on pretty much every hill in Maine. Maine now has only about 400 turbines, and well-traveled Mainers see that turbines are already a shockingly prominent feature of our landscape.

Another perspective: Everyone knows the Wyman Dam, on your left as you drive up Route 201 between Bingham and The Forks. Central Maine Power built it a century ago, before shoreland zoning. It was and remains Maine’s largest dam. When it was commissioned, Wyman’s 70-megawatt capacity was enough to power everything in our rapidly industrializing state! It created a massive flooded reservoir that upsets nobody today but would be cataclysmic if proposed now. If Wyman operates at 70 percent capacity factor, we would need 24 new Wyman Dams to equal the delivered electricity from NECEC.

The solar alternative? Maine panels achieve approximately 15 percent capacity factor. To supply the same electricity as the high-benefit and low-impact NECEC, we would need a line of 25 million solar panels laid end to end that stretches 25,000-plus miles from Maine around the Earth, back through Maine – and on to Buffalo again.

One new Seabrook-sized nuclear plant could also do it.

CMP has thousands of miles of transmission in Maine. Now, as it adds a mere 53 miles to that vast network, we’re almost hysterical. Without transmission, Maine’s quality of life would be that of a Third World country. We see transmission daily, and it is essentially imperceptible except up close. Even the view from Katahdin’s forever wild summit includes power lines tucked into forest. Wires are the width of a sapling, and poles blend harmoniously into the trees (which they once were).

Recall the Maine Power Reliability Project. It’s about 10 times bigger than the NECEC. Most of its poles are much bigger than the NECEC poles. The corridors aren’t just 60 feet across; they’re wider than the Maine Turnpike. A decade ago, CMP triumphantly completed those 440 miles of transmission after exhaustive hearings, thousands of documents in evidence, expert witnesses, cross-examination, rebuttal, legal analysis, etc. There was opposition, and compromise, then all the hard-earned permits were awarded according to law – the same process that we had with the NECEC. But this time, the opposition so disliked playing by the rules (and losing), they now seek to change the rules after the game has ended!

Before you vote on Question 1, imagine how Maine would look with 2,500 skyscraping ridgetop wind turbines. Or 25 million solar panels, or 24 new Wyman Dams. Imagine the rate increases. The sprawling web of requisite transmission. The incalculable tree harvests.

Is your backyard open to that? Can Maine – whose calling card is quality of place – sustain that?

Please also see the following important post from Monique Thurston: Climate Plan is a Mack Truck...


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Comment by arthur qwenk on October 25, 2021 at 6:47pm

Considering Joe Biden's impacts on Maine Energy.

"Let's Go Brandon!"

Comment by Willem Post on October 25, 2021 at 5:40pm
My two comments on Watt is up with That


This is wonderful.

CCC, a bunch of RE idiots trying to pull the wool over the eyes of innocent, gullible lay people, got caught lying and obfuscating big-time.

CCC, which advises UK PM Johnson, aka, the UNRULY MOP, used 7 days of low wind in 2050, whereas the low-wind days were 65 in 2021, and 78 in 2016.
CCC wanted to make wind look extra, extra good.

More low-wind days means vastly greater CAPACITY, MW, of instantly available, reliable, low-cost, traditional power plants, which must be staffed, fueled, ready to operate, in good working order, as demanded by the UK grid operator, to fill in any wind (and solar) shortfalls; the UK has LOTS OF DAYS without sun, throughout the year.

Initially, CCC was obstructing the public release of its report to THE UNRULY MOP
CCC was ordered by the Court to release the report to the public.

Are you f….g kidding me?
We are talking hundreds of millions of small folks spending $TRILLIONS EACH YEAR, to “save the world”, and CCC is blatantly lying about the feasibility and cost!
These CCC people should be drawn and quartered.


BTW, every wind turbine draws significant electricity from the grid, whether it is producing or not.
Great graph.

It clearly shows, the capacity’s factor of wind very often is less than 10%
The average CF is about 30%.

It is important to note wind power is the cube of wind speed 

In addition, at very low CFs, say 3 to 4%, with winds at 4 mph and less, the wind turbine is producing about as much as it is consuming, i.e., no net feed to the grid. Yikes

The graph shows a lot of red at low CFs, meaning onshore winds are frequently very weak.

The RE clowns at CCC are of-the-charts fabricators of lies.

They should be drawn and quartered

Comment by Pineo Girl on October 23, 2021 at 1:08pm

Is anyone surprised by Chris O'Neill shilling for CMP?  Don't be... He has always really only been a shill for his wallet!  Even with Friends if Maines Mountains!

Comment by Robert Powers on October 22, 2021 at 7:43pm

The hydro from Canada and the CMP corridor will NOT end the large wind and solar project plans for Maine...just provide more opportunity to expand more projects and transmission...and a lot more to come...more tranamission lines will definitely connect to the CMP corridor in the future...

Comment by Dan McKay on October 22, 2021 at 5:53pm

The New England electrical generation resources are changing dramatically and rapidly with most of the generator interconnection requests to the ISO-NE being wind and solar. Enviros are fighting hard to destroy fossil fuel infrastructure and energy plants. All six state legislatures of New England are demanding ISO-NE to establish new rules favoring " Renewables " Carbon taxes, crave outs in the forward capacity markets for new renewables together with contracts mandated by legislatures to buy wind and solar output will force reliable generation out of the market. If you control the land upon which energy flows, you control everything downstream. Maine, whether it stays involved with ISO-NE or teams up with Canadian energy  resources is situated as a state of immense energy opportunities if the backwoods and backpacking people could see further than the end of their walking sticks.

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on October 22, 2021 at 1:19pm

The facts as once proposed, is to include power from Canada produced by wind within the NECEC corridor. It was also proposed under a different project name that it would include more transmission lines for More Maine produced Wind Energy from Maine's Western Mountains within a short striking distance from the Corridor no matter the project naming. 

Up to 2, HVDC lines were in the initial proposal, along with 1 Canadian Wind and 2 Maine Wind power lines. 

Once classified as a CORRIDOR it will be easy to expand. Not only in width, but also purpose. Any type of energy could or will be allowed to traverse the length of this corridor or the combination of our current corridor and any new corridors. 

This is a backdoor attempt under Federal authority if needed, to establish a corridor across Maine for all types of energy, including the transportation of energy by pipeline, highway, or electrical transmission. 

Pieces are already in place from the Penobscot east. 

Before you vote on Question One...... Remember, either way they plan to build more wind turbines in Maine. This will give them Pre Permitted access to traverse Maine lands. Also this power is NOT currently needed as it was a 30 year into the future request to have availability on the Grid.

Why destroy today, what we can destroy later, if needed. 

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."


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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We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Vince Lombardi 

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