Why Won't the University of Maine Admit Just How Badly They've Been Had by the Wind Industry?

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.


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Comment by Long Islander on April 3, 2018 at 2:00pm

Here's a treasure trove of information on wind turbine fires:


Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on April 3, 2018 at 10:09am

Have the Board of Trustees been informed with this timeline?  who's gonna do it????

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on April 3, 2018 at 10:06am

Got a 7:00 am. phone call today from BDN about my "letter". So it will probably be published; sorry I didn't save it. Could be the start of a wider public/university investigation into the UMPI President's obsession with the future of wind farming in Maine; in which case he's out shopping for a new job.

I just want to see that commitment to full "transparency" honored; donations, gifts, trips, all costs associated with the turbine and its site, and especially output and the amount paid by EMERA for power generated and fluctuations due to market conditions. 

Didn't realize a fire would blow out campus power and the consequences of that were?

How does the fire dept. put out a fire on top of a tower?....Looks like a total loss; rebuild from base on up?

Comment by Frank Haggerty on April 3, 2018 at 7:07am

Wind Turbine Touted By Boston Globe In 2009 Burns -Up In Flames

Presque Isle, Maine —  The University of Maine at Presque Isle wind turbine went up in smoke: April 2, 2018 
In May of 2009,  University of Maine, Presque Isle became the first university campus in the state and one of only a handful in New England to install a wind turbine to generate power.
The Boston Globe touted this wind turbine in 2009 - In 2018 there is NO story in the Boston Globe 
Maine -Burn.jpg
The news media is reporting this turbine as damaged? 
The University of Maine at Presque Isle Wind turbine on fire 
Published on Apr 2, 2018

Boston Globe April 19, 2009: Wind turbines take shape at Maine campus :


Wind turbines take shape at Maine campus

April 18, 2009
Text size  +
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine—A new wind-power turbine is taking shape at the University of Maine at Presque Isle campus.
The tower's been assembled and school officials say the blades are to be attached to the turbine hub Saturday morning.
The $2 million project makes UMPI the first university in Maine and one of only a few in New England with a mid-size wind turbine. The 600-kilowatt turbine is expected to be producing clean energy by late spring.


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 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From 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?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From 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.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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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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