Mike DiCenso: Time for a UMPI wind reality check


Time for wind reality check

Posted May 17, 2011, at 8:39 p.m.

Over the past several years, Mainers heard from the Baldacci administration and the

Natural Resources Council of Maine about the supposed virtues of wind power, but we never heard much in the way of facts. We listened as they told us wind power would get us off foreign oil, but it turns out we do not use much oil to generate electricity.


We were told by former Gov. Angus King that Maine was the Saudi Arabia of wind power, and later learned that 15 other states had been given that same line. We could be the Saudi Arabia of hydro power, with real fishways of course, or tidal power.


The Department of Energy‘s wind maps show most of the proposed windsprawl sites in Maine are rated “poor to marginal.”


When the industrial developers are asked for production data, they claim confidentiality. After taking massive tax breaks and subsidies from the taxpayers and money from the ratepayers to fund their transmission lines to deliver energy to southern New England, it would seem reasonable to share data with the public. Mainers will pay dearly if our beautiful state undergoes New Jerseyfication from the 1,800 turbines planned along with hundreds of miles of transmission lines and roads. The impact would be excessive and the benefits paltry.


There is some data available from the University of Maine at Presque Isle, as they post their 600 kw data for all to see. Although the turbine has not been working of late, there are 22 months worth of recorded data available.


The turbine has generated 1,142,852 KWH total or slightly over its first year’s goal of 1 million KWH. This means the turbine has performed at 11.7  percent of capacity.


If the larger turbines are functioning at a similar level it would be a waste to sacrifice rural Maine for such a tiny contribution, much of which would be gobbled up to run the electronics.


UMPI has conducted the only public experiment of industrial wind power in the state.


How important is it for Mainers, not only for those living in close proximity to the

turbines and transmission lines, but for those who will see the increases in their monthly electric bills?


Maine will be asked to pay for 8 percent of about $30 billion in estimated wind required transmission projects, or about $5,000 per household. That is unreasonable for such

minuscule power.


UMPI President Don Zillman characterized his enthusiasm for the turbine as an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10. His enthusiasm is strong, but it is no substitute for empirical analysis, especially since $2 million-plus has been spent, and the wind industry is keeping secrets. There is too much for Maine to lose not to look critically at the data.


The very character and quality of place we enjoy here in Maine is too valuable to risk on

unsubstantiated and unproven claims by the pro-wind cabal. Mainers would be within

their rights to request a clinical analysis of the UMPI experiment rendered by the

university in a multi-disciplinary fashion, drawing upon the university’s engineers,

economists, and other experts.


There is no question Gov. John Baldacci favored wind power. In fact, with the support of the NRCM and others warning of an environmental apocalypse, he had the Legislature pass his “emergency” wind legislation with limited debate.


With a new administration, it is time to step back and examine the law that could transform Maine forever with industrial turbines scattered across the landscape of “Vacationland.” A careful review, without the urgency and hysteria which fostered a bill that was never investigated even superficially, is needed.


One of UMPI’s goals was to educate students and Mainers about wind power. The lesson is ongoing — the importance of doing the homework first, the engineering, economic, and financial studies, and observing the experience of Europeans who have been fighting with fickle wind power for years. Maine should not follow the mistakes of others. After all, Dirigo means “I lead” not “I follow.”


Mike DiCenso of Lincoln is a member of the Friends of Lincoln Lakes.




Fair Use Notice: This website may reproduce or have links to copyrighted material the use of which has not been expressly authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available, without profit, as part of our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, economic, scientific, and related issues. It is our understanding that this constitutes a "fair use" of any such copyrighted material as provided by law. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Views: 106


You need to be a member of Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine to add comments!

Join Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine

Comment by Long Islander on May 19, 2011 at 10:29am
Yes, the students are victims indeed. But the wind industry tries to use the students, once signed up for their wind educations, as shields against criticism, which is why recently trained wind technicians will be trotted out for public view and sympathy at hearings. The poor homeowner whose health and dreams have been turned upside down when his little green acre of heaven is suddenly inside a noisy unnatural industrial factory is made to look like the bad guy who is trying to harm the poor student shield.
Comment by clyde macdonald on May 19, 2011 at 9:52am
Now  we have students as victims, too. Imagine getting degrees in a failed technology that the President of UMPI has been hailing as a great success. Hucksterism. A fine, well written article Mr. Dicenso. CMD


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 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/

Not yet a member?

Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

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

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

Task Force membership is free. Please sign up today!

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."


© 2024   Created by Webmaster.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service