Southern New England is Selling Us Off

The Boston Globe is touting all the wind energy they can get from wind farms in Northern Maine to replace the huge amount of energy they are going to lose from Pilgrim Nuke.  The only problem is the out of date grid.  Here is a proposition - Southern New Englanders pay for those upgrades to OUR grid because we don't need those upgrades.  Better yet, have them pay for hydro projects that will produce meaningful energy and travel on existing grid lines.  Why should we be stuck for the bills of power we don't need.

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Comment by Kathy Sherman on October 29, 2015 at 1:27pm
I believe that FERC order 1000 already does require the ratepayers of states mandating "renewable energy" to pay for the transmission upgrades required for their long-term contracts. However, for the first contracts by MA utilities First Wind, the utilities and Dept of Energy Resources persuaded the regulators (Dept. of Public Utilities) that no new transmission was needed for Oakfield and Bingham and that reliability of electric supply or its costs were of no concern. Only the Attorney General tried to protect consumers and raise the issue. Conservation groups like Conservation Law Foundation certainly do feel free to add in transmission costs of Canadian Hydro at a rate equal to the cost of supply. Connecticut regulators didn't even get to decide on the contracts for CT utilities and whether the generation of Number Nine Mountain was going anywhere; that decision was usurped from the regulators.

Interestingly, the outfit that sued over the decision by the CT Dept. of Energy accepting No. 9 as the winner, is the same firm creating a ruckus about Big Solar near Bennington VT (I say big; it is 4 MW but a lot of deforestation), Allco Renewable headed by Mr. Melone. Watchdog points out that Melone fought the Nantucket Sound/Cape Wind project out of concern about the impact of it on his $15 million vacation home on Martha's Vineyard. There are many things wrong with Cape Wind, but that is not high on the list.

I looked into Allco yesterday because I wanted to know of they had pursued an appeal of their loss in court about No. Nine. If they are related to the Allco that crashed and burned about '08, and I think they are, they make SunEd, Enron and maybe even contemporaneous Madoff look clumsy and small time; very small time. But Allco bought some of the ConEdison generating assets; the utilities are migrating to where the profits are (transmission/distribution/pipelines) and mergers that defy the spirit and intent of "deregulation". How can mandated long-term contracts possibly support a "competitive market place" for generators, especially smaller hydro, and how can they as a mechanism merely to finance the capital investments in these projects, serve to make competitive markets that serve the ratepayers? Incentives are for new facilities so they drive out the smaller generators, even those who imstalled on-site generation early. They are BIG because no one wants to deal with contracting and approving many small projects even if they might contribute more as reliable generation, storage or on-site use/demand management reducing use.

VT admitted it was economic, but not that the stabilization of price is to price unaffordably high. With the loss of Pilgrim Nuclear and VT Yankee (foes of NH Seabrook are right behind and testifying in the same breath as foes of Pilgrim), utilities will have even greater dependence on natural gas for baseload and "firming up" those intermittant resources. We are already burning much more coal but those are scheduled to shutter. The economic driver is by the investment banks that arrange these deals and tax equity investors - they get their money whether TerraForm was undone as the "warehouse" a month later or not. It was for that reason that I found the story of Allco so interesting. Not for those impacted - and that will include a lot of people already "energy impoverished" throughout New England (hear CT Attorney General ahead of Governor's Conference - the default rate is extraordinary and those defaults cost the rest of the consumers, not the utility), and those whose livelihood and health/welfare are impacted locally.

I sure hope you can get LePage to understand that this is NOT good for rural Maine economy.

Soon there'll be another (maybe more coordinated) tri-state regional request for proposals. You can help nip them in the bud as NH did in '13 and as FMM was active in doing in MA. Siting issues, approvals, economic viability of the entity, do ultimately matter!!


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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