March 22, 2011 - Maine wind news roundup

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today, a quick roundup of recent news about Maine wind energy projects and policies:

The Bangor Daily News ran an editorial in support of renewable energy -- including wind, solar, and tidal power -- arguing that the Fukushima I nuclear disaster in Japan highlights the need for less harmful ways to power our society.  The editorial concludes, "The developed world will face either an apocalyptic, painful end to its reliance on fossil fuels — wars, shortages, famine — or it will embrace the new paradigm willingly. But the new technology must be jump-started with investment, much of it public funds."  Thus in the editorial board's view, society should support renewable projects with public dollars, at least to prime the pump to bring renewables to a more cost-competitive level.

The BDN also ran a letter to the editor from wind developer TransCanada's operations manager for the Kibby Project.  Writer Greg Shelton told his story of how the development of wind projects in Maine enabled him to return to his family from out of state, where he had traveled to find work.  Mr. Shelton described the value of renewable power development in creating jobs and economic development.

Meanwhile, Portsmouth, New Hampshire-based Eolian Renewable Energy has proposed a 10 megawatt wind project in the Maine town of Frankfort.  The $25 million wind project would entail four to six turbines atop Mount Waldo.  Eolian described its strategy as developing projects that fit better into communities and landscapes by siting smaller wind energy projects in areas with existing infrastructure like radio towers (Mount Waldo sports three such towers already) and roads.  To promote its cause, Eolian points to the potential tax benefits to a host community, suggesting that a 10-megawatt project might generate $100,000 in annual local tax revenue.

1 comment:

Karen Bessey Pease said...

Hi Todd,

Regarding your comments pertaining to Eolian in Frankfort; I think you'll find that the good citizens in that town overwhelmingly rejected the wind developer's advances on March 25th. It only took a little independent research by concerned citizens to discover that what Eoilan was selling wasn't a product with enough value to off-set it's negative impacts.

While I am always glad to hear that Mainers can find jobs here or return 'home', I wonder if Mr. Shelton, the gentleman who returned to Maine because of a job at Kibby, would be so enthusiastic after reading the Brookings Institute's report. After an exhaustive study, it was concluded that our best hope for economic health was to protect and promote our natural resources and our unique "Quality of Place". The wind industry likes to boast that they've 'invested' almost $1 Billion in Maine, when in reality, they've 'spent' about 1/3 of that here in Maine, with the rest going to places like China and Denmark and Germany, where the turbines are manufactured. A good portion of that is tax-payer money. The wind lobby likes to tout 300+/- construction jobs, and approx. 1 full time job for every 10 turbines. And yet, the tourism industry employed 170,000 Mainers full-time in 2009. It generated $10 Billion in goods and services, in that one year alone-- and that was a 'down' year. 2010 was up 6%. And that 'investment' was not paid for through subsidies.

We must take steps to protect out 'quality of place'. Tourists come here because we have something not found in most other places. Our pristine natural resources and unspoiled wilderness are a huge part of what they come here to experience.

Let's not promote its destruction for an energy source which is erratic and intermittent, unreliable, not able to be stored, and which is subsidized, per megawatt, at a far higher rate than all those other power sources you quoted.


Hah! The word verification for this is 'conme'...hehehe....

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