Millions of dollars of public money have been thrown away on a completely bogus feel good single wind turbine at UMPI and finally the project goes down in flames. What did the people of Maine get for their investment and why won't the University and the Maine media tell the people just how badly they've been had?
And now they want to do this on a far grander and far more wasteful scale offshore.
"The University prepared carefully for a discussion of the wind project at the September meeting of the Trustees. It asked permission for a $2 million total cost project that would install a mid-size wind turbine on campus property. The president and CFO were armed with data and prepared for the wide variety of questions that the project could legitimately have raised, including the possibility of instinctive dislike of wind power or too bold a campus entrepreneurial activity. Instead of a grilling, UMPI encountered a love fest."
-- Excerpted from UMPI president Donald Zillman's December 2009 account of the UMPI wind turbine project entitled "More Than Tilting at Windmills" published in Washburn Law Journal, Volume 49, Number 1 Fall 2009. Download this paper at the following link and see page 28:
CONTACT THE MAINE PUC: http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/about/contactus.html
Performance to Date
The 1,000,000 kWh annual projection would have been based on a capacity factor of 19.0%. The actual capacity factor achieved since the turbine's May 2009 start has been 10.1% as shown in the following table:
OK, based on the above, the UMPI wind turbine produced 4,681,517 kWh since it began spinning May 15, 2009 through Feb 12, 2018, a total of 8.75 years. This translates to an average annual production of 531,824 kWh per year versus their long touted going in estimate of 1,000,000 kWh per year.
Yet the University of Maine still claims $100,000 in electricity savings each year attributable to the turbine. How could production drop to 53% of planned production and the $100,000 savings not be revised downwards?
From the May 15, 2009 BDN
University officials anticipate the turbine will produce about 1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and save the institution more than $100,000 annually in electricity charges. Once fully operational, the windmill is expected to save an estimated 572 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.
It's not as though the UMS Board Wasn't Told of this Debacle
Kurt Adams, then PUC Commissioner, (later to be a UMS trustee) jump started this debacle of a project with a $50,000 gift from the PUC. It's time to request the current PUC do a report on the ROI. The people of Maine need to get the facts. The report should quite frankly cover the way in which the press has given wind a total free pass and investigate why the press has steadfastly done this.