Maine's largest peatland threatened by 650' tall newly proposed turbines from Virginia based developer

“Nobody here likes this". The turbines would be spread out on three sides of the 7,000-plus acre Great Heath.

Note that the Great Heath is the largest raised bog (or peatland) in the state of Maine.

Website for Downeast Wind's owner, Apex Clean Energy:

Apex is seemingly privately held. Who are their backers?

The following appears to be the Facebook page for wind discussion around Schoodic Lake. (It seems you do not need to be Facebook member to read their page).

Virginia wind energy firm proposes to erect 30 turbines in western Washington County

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff • December 21, 2019 1:00 am

COLUMBIA, Maine — A wind energy firm based in Virginia is proposing to erect 30 turbines in western Washington County, spread out around state-owned public reserved land in Township 18.

A group of camp owners on Schoodic Lake are unhappy with the proposal from Downeast Wind and made their feelings known Thursday evening at a public meeting at the Columbia town office.

Downeast Wind officials said at the meeting that they are considering around 40 sites at the moment, but plan to submit an application to the state for approval of only 33 sites, of which they expect to use only 30. They said they hope to use Vestas V150 turbines for the installation, each of which has a projected peak output of 4.2 megawatts and would stand 650 feet tall at the highest tip of each rotating blade — more than double the height of the Statue of Liberty and almost 200 feet taller than the average wind turbine in the U.S. The entire project would have a production capacity of 126 megawatts.

The turbines would be spread out on three sides of the 7,000-plus acre Great Heath, an area that includes 5,600 acres in Township 18 that are owned and protected by the state. Potential turbine locations identified by Downeast Wind range from Township 19 between Montegail Pond and a decommissioned Air Force backscatter radar array, to the west bank of the Pleasant River in townships 24 and 18, to eight possible sites stretching along Baseline Road in Columbia.

Robert McKay, a Bangor man who owns a seasonal camp on the north shore of Schoodic Lake — which is split between Columbia, Cherryfield and Township 18 — said that the presence of turbines southeast of the lake in Columbia, roughly 2 to 4 miles from his camp on the lake’s north shore, would have a major impact on his enjoyment of the property.

“Nobody here likes this,” McKay said, referring to roughly 50 people who attended the meeting, many of whom are Schoodic Lake camp owners.............................

.......................................Officials with Downeast Wind, a subsidiary of Apex Lean Energy in Charlottesville, Virginia, said they have spent years refining their plans, which at one point included potentially 57 turbines and in 2014 centered mainly on Columbia and Cherryfield. The company has lined up lease agreements with multiple property owners, including Cherryfield Foods, for all of the sites where turbines would be erected.

Paul Williamson, senior development manager for Downeast Wind, said that all of the proposed sites exceed property line setbacks required by Columbia and the state, and stressed that the company has made an effort to contact all the camp owners around Schoodic Lake to hear their concerns — though some of the camp owners responded that they have only been contacted in recent weeks..................................

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Comment by Long Islander on December 30, 2019 at 7:49pm

Is this company connected to D.E. Shaw, the longtime half owner of First Wind?

D.E. Shaw subsidiary acquires Balko Wind

December 2014

D.E. Shaw Renewable Investments purchases Balko Wind, in a transaction that highlights Apex’s broad capabilities to deliver attractive clean energy investment opportunities to its financial partners.

D.E. Shaw got its start when S. Donald Sussman staked them $28 million. See:

Sussman was married to U.S. congresswoam Chellie Pingree. He owned Maine Today Media which owned virtually all of the big newspapers in Maine except for the Bangor Daily News. He allegedly sold this company to Reade Brower. Did he? Some people are not so sure.

Comment by Penny Gray on December 29, 2019 at 5:26pm

The emotional costs of industrial scale wind projects are immeasurable and irreparable.  The loss of long term friendships, the destruction of the very fabric that holds rural towns together; neighbor not speaking to neighbor, family members turning their backs on one another.  I left Carthage because of this.  I still miss my home in the western mountains of Maine.  It broke my heart to see Saddleback Mountain shackled and chained, blasted and bulldozed by human greed.  That big beautiful quiet mountain that had watched over that river valley for thousands of years.  The same thing happens in every rural town these companies prey on.

Comment by Willem Post on December 29, 2019 at 2:01pm


Comments on Below Table


Indirect subsidies are due to loan interest deduction and depreciation deductions from taxable incomes.

Direct subsidies are due to up front grants, waiving of state sales taxes, and/or local property (municipal and school) taxes. See URL.


An owner of ridgeline wind would have to sell his output at 18.8 c/kWh, if the owner were not getting the benefits of cost shifting and upfront cash grants and subsidies.

That owner could sell his output at 16.4 c/kWh, if his costs were reduced due to cost shifting.

He could sell his output at 9 c/kWh, if on top of the cost shifting he also received various subsidies. The same rationale holds for solar. See table.


In NE construction costs of ridgeline wind and offshore wind are high/MW, and the capacity factor of wind is about 0.285 and of solar about 0.14. Thus, NE wind and solar have high prices/MWh. See table.


In US areas, such as the Great Plains, Texas Panhandle and Southwest, with much lower construction costs/MW and much better sun and wind conditions than New England, wind and solar electricity prices/MWh are less.


Those lower prices often are mentioned, without mentioning other factors, by the pro-RE media and financial consultants, such as Bloomberg, etc., which surely deceives the lay public


Future electricity cost/MWh, due to the planned build-out of NE offshore wind added to the planned build-out of NE onshore wind, likely would not significantly change, because of the high costs of grid extensions and upgrades to connect the wind plants and to provide significantly increased connections to the New York and Canadian grids.


NOTE: For the past 20 years, Germany and Denmark have been increasing their connections to nearby grids, because of their increased wind and solar.


The subsidy percentages in below table are from a cost analysis of NE wind and solar in this article. See URL.


Values for 2018 are represented in below table.


NE Wind/Solar

NE Wind


NE Solar






Price to utility

No direct/indirect subsidies

No cost shifting





Less cost shifting





Price to utility

No direct/indirect subsidies

With cost shifting





Less subsidy, wind

45% of 16.4



Less subsidy, solar

45% of 21.4



Price to utility*

With direct/indirect subsidies

With cost shifting






* Owner prices to utilities are based on recent 20-year electricity supply contracts awarded by competitive bidding in New England. These prices would have been about 48% to 50% higher without the direct and indirect subsidies and the cost shifting. Similar percentages apply in areas with better wind and solar conditions, and lower construction costs/MW, than New England. The prices, c/MWh, in those areas are lower than New England.



Wind and Solar Subsidies Provide a Bonanza for Wall Street


This URL shows wind and solar prices per kWh would be at least 50% higher without direct and indirect subsidies. They would be even higher, if the costs of other items were properly allocated to the owners of wind and solar projects, instead of shifted elsewhere. See below section High Levels of Wind and Solar Require Energy Storage.


This URL shows about 2/3 of the financial value of a wind project is due to direct and indirect subsidies, and the other 1/3 is due to electricity sales.


- Indirect subsidies are due to federal and state tax rebates due to loan interest deductions from taxable income, and federal and state MARCS depreciation deductions from taxable income.


- Direct subsidies are up-front federal and state cash grants, the partial waiving of state sales taxes, the partial waiving of local property, municipal and school taxes. See URLs.


Any owner, foreign or domestic, of a wind and/or solar project, looking to shelter taxable income from their other US businesses, is allowed to depreciate in 6 years almost the entire cost of a wind and solar project under the IRS scheme called Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, MARCS. The normal period for other forms of utility depreciation is about 20 years.


Then, with help of Wall Street financial wizardry from financial tax shelter advisers, such as BNEF*, JPMorgan, Lazard, etc., the owner sells the project to a new owner who is allowed to depreciate, according to MARCS, almost his entire cost all over again. Over the past 20 years, there now are many thousands of owners of RE projects who are cashing in on that bonanza.


Loss of Federal and State Tax Revenues: The loss of tax revenues to federal and state governments due to MARCS was estimated by the IRS at $266 billion for the 5y period of 2017 - 2021, or about $53.2 billion/y.

The IRS is required to annually provide a 5y-running estimate to Congress, by law.

The next report would be for the 2018 - 2022 period


The indirect largesse of about $53.2 billion/y, mostly for wind and solar plants^ that produce expensive, variable/intermittent electricity, does not show up in electric rates. It likely is added to federal and state debts.


Most of the direct federal subsidies to all energy projects of about $25 billion/y also do not show up in electric rates. They likely were also added to the federal debt.


Most of the direct state subsidies to RE projects likely were added to state debts.


The additional costs of state-mandated RPS requirements likely were added to the utility rate base for electric rates.


* BNEF is Bloomberg New Energy Finance, owned by the pro-RE former Mayor Bloomberg of New York, which provides financial services to the wealthy of the world, including providing them with tax avoidance schemes.


^ In New England, wind is near zero for about 30% of the hours of the year, and solar is minimal or zero for about 70% of the hours of the year. Often these hours coincide for multi-day periods, which happen at random throughout the year, per ISO-NE real-time, minute-by-minute generation data posted on its website. Where would the electricity come from during these hours; $multi-billion battery storage, insufficient capacity hydro storage?


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."

Comment by Willem Post on December 29, 2019 at 1:56pm


The height depends on the distance of ground to centerline of rotor.

The rotor hub has a dimension from center of rotor to flange.

The blade length is measured from the flange.

Add all together, from ground to tip of blade, and 820 to 850 likely is correct.

Comment by Willem Post on December 29, 2019 at 1:51pm

The "delete comment" button seems not be be working!!

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on December 24, 2019 at 1:30pm

While One article states 650 foot as being the height the specifications for this turbine... 

V150-4.2 MW™ at a glance With the V150-4.2 MW™ Vestas leads onshore wind power to new heights. With 73.7 meter long blades and the industry’s tallest steel tower, the V150-4.2 MW™ stretches nearly a quarter of a kilometer into the air and is one of the highest producing onshore low wind turbines in the industry. Combined with a leading capacity factor in low wind conditions, the turbine delivers a 21 percent increase in annual energy production compared to the V136-3.45 MW® while achieving a sound power level of only 104.9 dB(A) to serve sound sensitive regions.

Source link

This calculates out to 820 feet

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on December 23, 2019 at 2:14pm

A Virginia Company Invades Maine while Virginia has no Grid Scale wind farms.

Are there windmills in Virginia?
Wind power in Virginia is in the early stages of development. In March 2015, Virginia became the first state in the United States to receive a wind energy research lease to build and operate offshore wind turbines in federal waters. As of 2019, Virginia had no utility scale wind farms.

Another Angus King contribution to Maine. Virginia gets Research Funding, Maine gets 30 more shafts. 
Comment by Willem Post on December 23, 2019 at 7:22am

650 ft tall!
With strobe lights 24/7/365!

Are you kidding me?

About 45 to 50% of the capital cost is direct federal and state subsidies, so the offered prices are artificially low, because of the subsidies, which come out of our pocket one way or another.

On top of that, we get to pay for the electricity; low prices at first to deceive/lull people, and much higher prices later, while the owners of this monstrosity have been laughing, all the way to the bank at their Florida estates, at the dumb bureaucrats who approved it all, and screwed Joe and Jane Maine Taxpayer as well.

4.5 c/kWh to start the first year, escalating at 1.5 %/y for 20 years, because the blowing wind is getting more expensive?
That price should be FIXED for 20 years.

Comment by Sandy Wolfe on December 23, 2019 at 12:51am

How can any wind power company put anything up? In the Golden West Wind Energy project by Calhan, Colorado, which has been in 'operation' for 4 years now, I just lost my last holdout who claimed these don't make them 'that sick'. Well, I am not counting the participating landowners, who only tell their best friends, and then their best friends tell me. So, my last 'holdout' just got pneumonia - that odd pneumonia that has everything but the fever, which is so wind-turbine-environment-true that I am frustrated all over again that the medical community has not stepped up. Bad power, bad equipment, as polluting as anything can be, poisoning the land and damaging to all life within miles. My heart goes out to the people who don't want these. What I am writing is real. Even the people who cannot feel the problem die of heart issues, or organ problems, or strokes, or end up with serious medical conditions, even if it is simply a mania that comes over them if they think they cannot drive away from their local wind turbines at a moment's notice.

Comment by Dan McKay on December 22, 2019 at 8:19am

"The term sheet approval process undertaken pursuant to 35-A M.R.S.§3210-C is an entirely discretionary action where the Commission is tasked as acting as a commercial agent for the benefit of the ratepayers." MAINE PUC 2015


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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