UMPI President Don Zillman: "On a 1-10 scale I give the UMPI turbine an 11".

On MPBN Maine Watch's "Wind's of Change" special, Part 2, with Jennifer Rooks, UMPI president Donald Zillman, the driving force behind this $2 million expenditure of public funds, stated "On a 1 to 10 scale, I give this project an 11". The reality is that this project has performed at an 11 on a 1-100 scale.

As in 11% - see the math below.

Again, 1 + 1 = 2, not whatever feels right to you Johnny.

Watch the two part series online at:

Part 1:

Part 2

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Comment by Karen Bessey Pease on November 21, 2010 at 10:40pm
Thank you, Mr. Roper, for giving us some perspective.

We are, indeed, lucky to have this data. I guess I'm having a hard time understanding where Mr. Zillman's enthusiasm comes from.
Comment by Harrison Roper on November 21, 2010 at 10:35pm
Sunday late afternoon in the repeat of Jennifer Rooks' "Maine Watch" program on wind power we once again heard UMPI President Donald Zillman use the memorable phrase "On a scaleof one to ten, I'd give it an 11".
Here is the rest of the story: In the program, Ms. Rooks had not asked about power production, she had asked Dr. Zillman about his ENTHUSIASM for the turbine project, and he answered: "On a scale of 1 to10 I'd give it an 11". He was grading his own enthusiasm for the project, not the turbine's actual performance!

Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the UMPI turbine has produced less than 12% of its capacity since it was installed 17 months ago. At the time of installation in May of 2009, it was projected to produce 1,000,000 kilowatt hours per year; a while ago that estimate was quietly scaled down to something under 700,000 kWh.
Late this afternoon (11/21) the website reported it was producing MINUS 6.4 kw of power; earlier today it was producing 1.2kw. (Yesterday it was windy for a change; I observed 544 kW at 11:30 AM.) So it goes with inland wind power, constantly skittering up and down hardly ever steady, and sometimes, particularly in very hot weather, simply nonexistant, with the turbine reporting "minus" power production for hours on end.
UMPI's wind turbine has "installed capacity" of 600 kilowatts. Net power production for the ten days 11/12 thru 11/21 averaged 2572 kWh. Compare that to "installed capacity"- in ten days of ideal wind (which never happens) a 600 kw wind turbine should produce 144,000 kwh; divided by ten is 14,400 kWh per day. So, with "capacity" of 14,000 kWh per day, UMPI got actual production of 2572 kWh per day, or 18% of capacity. (That capacity achievement is about double the 8% reported summer power production.)
Those who pay attention to the UMPI wind turbine project are learning a lot, and it is not at all encouraging to us as taxpayers.
UMPI is to be thanked for allowing citizens to learn the realities of how little power is actually being generated by their wind turbine. It is indeed an educational experience. Such information is simply not available from First Wind or other large wind operators.

Harrison Roper - Houlton/Danforth
Comment by Long Islander on November 21, 2010 at 1:02pm
Donald Zillman co-authored "Kyoto: From Principles to Practice" as well as "Beyond the Carbon Economy". (Descriptions of both can be seen at Last year he wrote a blog about CO2 entitled "Countdown to Copenhagen".

That said, the UMPI CO2 MYSTERY at the academic institution he heads is still not solved.

When the experiment was announced, the 1,000 MWH annual production goal was accompanied by a CO2 annual avoidance goal of 572 tons for a ratio of CO2 tons to MWH ratio of .572. Today, UMPI reports actual to date 920.2 MWH accompanied by actual to date CO2 avoidance of 660.7 tons translating to a ratio of CO2 tons to MWH of .718.

In other words, the experiment's CO2 avoidance per unit of electricity produced has mysteriously increased by 25.5%. (.718 / .572 = 1.255)

Why would that ratio ever change?
Comment by Long Islander on November 21, 2010 at 12:32pm
Research is a worthwhile activity for a university, and even a worthwhile recipient of public dollars. This experiment should thus be applauded. While the 11.5% performance is truly abysmal (if not unexpected), there is no such thing as a failed experiment. The only failure would be not to learn from it. Additionally, like any bona fide academic finding, this should be subject to peer review. For example, perhaps we could get some electrical engineering experts including University of Maine scientists to evaluate this.

Indeed,because this is the state's only scientific industrial wind turbine experiment, paid for by public money, it is a valuable learning experiment that should be studied carefully. When the legislature approved Governor Baldacci's "emergency" expedited wind law, no state experiment-derived data were available. But now we have over 18 months of data and an 11.5% performance that we can look at. Hopefully this can be done at some point once a new administration and legislature begins working in January.
Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on November 21, 2010 at 11:44am
The URL for their latest tax FORM 990:
On that form their Mission is described as:
Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on November 21, 2010 at 11:44am
From MPBN: "The majority of the funds needed to serve you with quality public radio and television programming comes from sources within our community including members, business sponsors and foundations. You can be assured that your donation will be managed wisely to support the Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s programs and community services.

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on November 21, 2010 at 11:08am
MPBN lists underwriters from the past month on its website. Among them:

First Wind
(617) 964-3340
85 Wells Avenue, Suite 305
Newton, Massachusetts

University of Maine
(207) 581-1110

There are many ways your business or organization can support MPBN, by: underwriting our radio and television programs, presenting a challenge grant, sponsoring an event or offering a matching gift for your employees’ contributions.
Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on November 21, 2010 at 10:01am
The following are from MPBN's website's "About" section. Perhaps they will follow up with others' points of view and the FACTS, in keeping with their stated mission of "pursuit of the truth".

We will be recognized throughout Maine and beyond as an organization that has made a distinct difference by focusing in a disciplined manner on the issues most important to Maine and by being relentless in pursuit of the truth about them.

MPBN will be known throughout Maine as an organization that listens and acts accordingly.
Our enterprise will help lead Maine towards its bright future.

We view our responsibility to promote awareness and participation in the democratic process as supremely important. We actively seek to make workings of government and the public conversation as accessible as possible.

We maintain an unwavering commitment to fairness, transparency, tolerance, diversity, and accountability in everything we do.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network is our State’s leading source of trusted insight and content about Maine and the world.
program sponsors
Private donations--including those received from radio members, television members, and contributors of unrestricted gifts--comprise the largest source of revenue for the organization.

The Maine Public Broadcasting Network was formed in 1992 through the merger of the educational radio and television stations provided by the University of Maine System and WCBB public television operated by Colby, Bates and Bowdoin Colleges. The Maine Public Broadcasting Network is an independently owned and operated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with office and studio locations in Bangor, Lewiston and Portland, Maine.
Comment by Karen Bessey Pease on November 21, 2010 at 9:27am
I think it might be a good idea to see if the news affiliate up there could do a FACTUAL story on UMPI's turbine. We've got great resources to give a reporter, and even a comparative example at the high school from which I graduated. A professor from UMO studied the data and says it will take more than 600 (SIX HUNDRED) years for Mt. Abram's turbine to pay for itself. How many generations do we expect to pay for this foolishness?
Comment by Linda Miller on November 21, 2010 at 9:14am
Guess they think the public can't add two and two and come up with four! Shameful is indeed correct.


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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