Yesterday LI sent out a blast to respond to the RFP article in the CommonWealth magazine. I responded to them with a counter article and will see if it is printed in an upcoming issue. I have included it below.
To the Citizens of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island: Your lust for green power is putting Maine residents and their wilderness land in severe jeopardy.
I spent several weeks this summer going up to my camp, across an idyllic, rustic, wilderness lake from 27 wind turbines on Rollins Mountain. I have been going there for 68 years. (1949) We have no electricity other than our own solar 12 volt system which has been there for 25 years UNSUBSIDISED, as it is miles from a main road. We like it that way. It was a particularly hot week, when demand for the energy produced by those generators was truly needed. Do you know how many revolutions those blades made during that hot spell? Not very many! Most of the time they sat motionless, and only perked up when a few thunderstorms rolled through for a half an hour or so. The states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, where that power was to be sent were sitting even hotter than we were, depending on normally generated electricity. I rarely stay there overnight anymore as the flashing lights and strobes go from dusk to dawn, impeding what used to be a Bortle 1 Dark Sky, have spoiled the experience.
The wind and grid reliability is so unstable that power is rarely available when really needed. The grid has to rely on gas powered plants that are able to ramp up quickly so there will be no blackouts or brownouts. We have no oil or coal fired plants in Maine. Maine happens to be the second CLEANEST state in the Union with well over 50% of its power from renewables. Wind and solar provide no power to us in Maine. That clean environment comes from a very small population, very dense CO2 sequestering forestation, and a lack of industrialization caused by the already high energy rates we are being charged by the addition of wind power transmission (to Southern New England) to our grid. That lack of industrialization has made jobs very hard to come by, and Maine is already a poor job producing state. The secret they won't tell you is that big hydro, which we have plenty of our own, is excluded from being counted as renewable. We in Maine have enough power of our own to supply the entire state for the foreseeable next 40 years. These wind and solar projects are for YOU.
The power companies are not the ones doing the investing in wind and solar. The investors are a few elite businessmen who are taking huge payments from the government in the form of subsidies, forming companies to produce "renewable" power, promising results that are not possible, pocketing the subsidies, bankrupting their companies and leaving the government to pick up the pieces. (Solyndra and recently the biggest of them all, SunEdison)http://www.greentechmedia.com/... Several of our hydro projects could be upgraded and cheap Canadian hydro is available for a lot less money, far more reliable power and transmission over a system that already exists. Maine is a terrible place for onshore wind and solar, despite the quote from John Baldacci who told us that "Maine is the Saudi Arabia of Wind". Look at the national wind charts that show we are in the LOWEST 87th percentile of wind power in the US.
It is a program that was built on lies from day one, and a whole bunch of Governor Baldacci and Angus King's cronies made millions from the government subsidies. These projects have come to Maine, lowered our property values around the projects, chased manufacturing jobs from the state, raised electricity rates to pay for the transmission of the minimal power they produce, dynamited mountaintops, stripped the land where they sit of CO2 sequestering trees, caused erosion of the land, harmed wildlife (especially birds, bats and raptors), spoiled dark skies, and impacted our wilderness experience for both residents and tourists. Who wants to hike the iconic Appalachian Trail and have to see and listen to industrial wind?
The government needs to stay out of the energy business and let the businesses find the cheapest and cleanest ways to make power. The market can make the right selections.