Maine EUT member Rep. Steven Foster: ENERGY FACTS

When one accounts for the facts that wind is intermittent and unreliable, grid-scale electricity storage is virtually non-existent, capacity payments for conventional generators are required, massive transmission expansion is required to add wind turbines, the effects on property values, the massive subsidies and the interest on the money borrowed to fund the subsidies, what is wind's real cost, i.e., the one that wind advocates don't want you to know?

Energy facts

By Rep. Steven Foster, R-Dexter

In a Jan. 22, 2020 presentation to the Maine Legislature’s Energy, Utilities, and Technology committee, Dr. Richard Silkman presented his roadmap for Maine meeting its zero carbon clean energy goals by 2050 requiring an estimated 15000 MW of electrical energy. His plan, which has been adopted by the Governor’s Energy Office and the majority party in Augusta, would do so using solar and wind power generation, with battery storage. When asked, he said this plan laid out in his publication, A New Energy Direction for Maine, would require 40,000 to 45,000 acres of solar panels, 400 to 500 on shore 600-foot wind mills, and over 400 off shore 12MW wind mills. These numbers have never been disputed when I’ve brought them up during committee deliberations, House floor debate, or discussions with the Governor’s Energy Office. 

Solar power in Maine is at best 26 percent efficient due to length of day, average cloud cover, latitude, etc. Solar panels lose up to 2 percent efficiency per year of service with an expected life of 20-30 years. Although the Legislature rescued Mainers from the threat of single use plastic bags, there was little to no majority party interest in two bills put forward to address recycling the approximately 2.1 million pounds of material required for 45,000 acres of panels.

On shore wind power in Maine is about 40 percent efficient due to wind patterns, days without sufficient wind speeds, days with too high wind speeds, etc. Numbers I’ve seen on current Maine wind farm production fall below that. Offshore windmills in the Gulf of Maine are projected by supporters to be 60 percent efficient due to better wind patterns, wind speeds, etc. I understand this is based on numbers achieved in the extreme weather area of the North Sea.

Hydro power is not only capable of supplying power to meet cyclical demand 24/7, but is 80 to 90 percent efficient, with larger generation facilities above 85 percent. Contrary to wind or solar, no other energy storage is required besides the potential energy provided by the water and gravity.

The Clean Energy Corridor is planned to supply 1,200 megawatts of hydro power to the ISO New England grid, which Maine generation facilities supply power to and most Maine consumers receive power from. Some generators in Maine, such as the 56 windmills near Bingham connecting to a sub-station in Guilford and supplying power to Connecticut, were built by and for other states to meet their green energy goals.

Replacing the energy the NECEC will carry to our grid through the 1,200 acres of newly cleared right of way would require an equivalent 7,200 acres of solar panels plus land for spacing, roads, power lines, substations, etc. An equivalent amount of power from onshore wind farms would require 112,500 acres. These numbers come from Dr. Silkman and wind energy proponents.

We’ve all heard many so-called facts from both sides of Question 1. As a member of the EUT Committee in Maine’s Legislature, I thought it important to provide this information to those who may not have it, as they consider how to vote on this important matter. Because I find it difficult to support occupying so much of Maine’s farmland and hill tops with highly subsidized solar and wind power versus other more dependable and much less expensive forms of energy generation, I’ll be voting no on Question 1.

Foster, a retired engineer, represents House District 104, serving on the EUT Committee. He holds a Maine 1st Class Engineer’s License and was a USCG licensed chief engineer.

Contact Information -Rep. Steven Foster

Mail: 2 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330


Legislative Office: (207) 287-1440


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Comment by Art Brigades on October 28, 2021 at 7:08pm

Nancy, this is amazing!!!!

I never knew that Friends of Maine Mountains was a CMP shell!

They were so good at being forthright, and fighting wind projects.Even Frankfort.

Where did you hear this scoop, do tell?????

Have you shared it with the press?


Comment by Nancy Sosman on October 28, 2021 at 3:24pm

Central Maine Power consistently ranks as the worst in its class.. worst service, highest rates.  It rates worse than PG&E the California corp that caused wildfires and self-induced black outs.  Why in the world would anyone consider giving them a reward ?  The Vermont version of the power lines that would ostensibly deliver "green" energy to Massachusetts was approved by Vermont, buried underground.  Personally I don't think that's a great idea either, but again, that's not the point.  CmP prefers Maine because the deck is stacked and "ratepayers" are nothing more than pocket change. CMP is run by gansters like former gov Baldwcci, Mill's good old friend.  When she ran she publicly critisized the corridor, saying it was the width of the New Jersey Turnpike.  As soon as she was seated she got approval from the PUC and her brother formed a phony not-for-profit called Friends of Maines Mountains...funded completelynby CMP.  My point is would you hire someone to build your house who came with such stellar credentials?  

Comment by Dan McKay on October 28, 2021 at 5:42am

A breath of common sense within the EUT committee

Comment by Penny Gray on October 27, 2021 at 7:46pm

Excellent letter.  Thank you for the contact info.

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 27, 2021 at 6:39pm

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Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 27, 2021 at 4:15pm

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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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