A. Barnett: Wind power does not pay

I attended a Dixfield selectmen meeting on July 23. Tom Carroll of Patriot Renewables said wind data from meteorological towers may be “proprietary.” He also said Patriot Renewables chose Colonel Holman Mountain because of a potential transmission corridor between Saddleback Ridge Wind in Carthage and Canton Mountain. He said no meteorological towers were put on other mountains in Dixfield.

The process begins with accruing land. The abutters are notified but no one else. Flicker and sound modelings are done last and no one notifies the “receptors.”

Dixfield does not have a moratorium on wind power, despite more than 200 signatures asking the Dixfield selectmen to do whatever is necessary to enact one. Dixfield selectmen want to put a pro-wind ordinance on the November ballot.

Patriot Renewables says it will respond to each community's needs, as far as donations are concerned. Carthage villagers were handed $20 bills to spend at the Blue Moose for whatever was their need.

I do not know who is in the Concord Pond Association, but Carroll said those folks had no noise complaints.

These small areas of western Maine are blindsided by those industrial monstrosities that do not work. Without the mandates, wind does not pay.

Alice McKay Barnett, Carthage

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 's picture


Anyone in favor of wind turbines needs to read Robert Bryce's article "Renewable Energy's Incurable Scale Problem" in www.energytribune.com. He explains that wind turbines cannot replace the projected increase in energy consumption, much less the baseload. Covering Maine with turbines will not help. Big changes in lifestyles and reducing demand is not likely to happen, so that leaves the US with nukes and nat. gas like it or not. Why sacrifice the Maine we love for NOTHING? Anyone can spout about "property rights", but the reality is that not only are neighboring property values affected, a seller may not be able to sell at any price and there are plenty of cases of abandoned homes. How bad must it be to just walk away from ones' home? The developers couldn't care less. In Australia a judge ordered a wind developer to purchase 11 homes which were deemed unlivable. Pro wind zealots want to ignor these things. It is easier to believe the developers and the AWEA and stay indoors, I guess. Great letter Alice.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"All this hoooey about Wind

"All this hoooey about Wind Power is nothing but HOT AIR"!! bellowed the parrot, as he fanned himself with his right wing, even though he is an avowed liberal."There are only three forms of energy that are going to save this country from total economic collapse; oil, coal, and nuclear power", mused he. "Everything else they throw at us is pure fairy dust.

 's picture


Hydro Quebec is ready and waiting to save New England....Maine makes it's own electricity.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yes, and sells most of it to

Yes, and sells most of it to the "GRID". Ever wonder why our electricity rates are among the highest in the country?

Jason Theriault's picture


Because we are still paying for a nuclear reactor that barely got used.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And, whose fault is that?

And, whose fault is that? Maine Yankee performed flawlessly without incident for 20 years and when its license to operate expired, the environmentalist wackos couldn't shut it down fast enough. Your blame for our exorbitant electricity rates, as is occasionally the case, is misdirected.

Norman Mitchell's picture


Over 50 % of Maine electric generation is from gas and Gas is cheep only 1/2 of 1% from coal Maine Yankee look at the polluted rivers our forefathers left us as an example how could anyone support an energy source that has a deadly waste that never goes a way ?? Hydro is the way to go !!! in Maine wind pollutes more that we get out of it the only reason they are built is for our tax dollars

Norman Mitchell's picture


Over 50 % of Maine electric generation is from gas and Gas is cheep only 1/2 of 1% from coal Maine Yankee look at the polluted rivers our forefathers left us as an example how could anyone support an energy source that has a deadly waste that never goes a way ?? Hydro is the way to go !!! in Maine wind pollutes more that we get out of it the only reason they are built is for our tax dollars

 's picture

Great letter. Nothing about

Great letter. Nothing about these industrial wind installations should be proprietary considering how much we, the taxpayers, are paying to build THEIR project. THEY reap the subsidy $$$$, the residents get the shaft. Every town needs to enact a protective ordinance until a statewide moratorium on industrial wind is declared.

Jason Theriault's picture

A few things

One- Is there any source about the $20 bucks? I would like to hear the full story
Two - Data Patriot Renewables collects is theirs. You didn't pay to collect it. If you want it, collect it yourself.

Three - I read a summary of the Dixfield ordinance. What parts are pro-wind? 4000 feet setback, max 55 db durring the day, 42 at night. What exactly is unfair?

 's picture

full story

The full story was spoken of at a public meet in Dixfield...I am a Carthage citizen and I did not get $20. So may be this guy lied? I could ask Patriot renewables but like you said, it is their information only. "Proprietory".

Jason, who are you? Do you work for WIND?

It's a known fact by engineers who have studied transmission lines.

Maine Electric Power Company. It's the transmission side of CMP. Wind farms suck energy from the grid when they start up, lose almost 425 kw per mile of line, and cannot be used in a power failure

Jason Theriault's picture

No, I don't work for Wind

While I do enjoy a good breeze, I never thought to apply for work for it.

Wise ass comment aside, no I don't work for any wind developer, utility or any agency. I work in IT, for a completely unrelated company.

I just hate seeing jobs and money turned away. I also don't like one group of people telling someone how they can and cannot use their land without a really good reason. And I have yet to see them. I have seen non-peer reviewed evidence and studies. I've heard a lot of hyperbole about how wind turbines will destroy the economy and nature and open black holes with their light flicker and infrasound.

It's all disingenuous, because I can see through it. Your real argument is "I live in the country and I want it to stay undeveloped. That's why I live here." If you would just be honest, we could stop dealing with all the junk science. That argument is perfectly valid, and I can understand. We all live in Maine, and it isn't for the jobs.

The reality is that you need is a town ordinance or to buy the land. If you don't want wind mills, then fight them, but do it honestly. Quoting transmission line losses won't help you, and almost shows how you don't understand how the electric

Norman Mitchell's picture

Wind is bad

Dixfield wont listen to the people !!! check it out here along with 17 other videos !! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGIPh_BGmJo&feature=channel&list=UL

Norman Mitchell's picture

You need an education

Why does the wind industry deny this information? Remember--Lead paint? Asbestos? Tobacco?
Health Issues: Turbines make people sick every operating Multi turbine wind facility in Maine near people has significant unresolved disputes. Noise: More than 20-year-old noise standards now applied to wind energy facilities. Infrasound consists of air pressure pulsations and is ignored by state regulators and state noise codes Wind turbines cause a steady, low-decibel sound, sleep disturbance, and may lead to stress related illness which include severe anxiety, nervousness, migraines, and dizziness and sleep problems. Emotional problems. Shadow Flicker: The shadow effect of moving turbine blades may cause health issues. Can cause seizure in susceptible individuals. Headache, loss of balance, nausea and disorientation. Electromagnetic fields: may cause interference with electrical devices. These fields may have long-term health effects to humans or animals cause sleep loss, diarrhea, frequent urination, menstrual problems, bloody noses, and the inability to conceive Lyme Disease Experts agree that ticks and tick-borne diseases are on the rise, due in large part to increased forest fragmentation that creates pockets of disease Forest fragmentation occurs when large woodlands are split into smaller, more isolated sections for developments There are clearly more ticks in more places than ever before, and a big part of that equation is forest fragmentation. What exists now is a patchwork-quilt ecosystem—an unnatural mosaic of small, isolated zones of trees interspersed with crops or grassland," said Michael W. Dryden, DVM, MS, PhD, a distinguished professor of parasitology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University who studies the biology and control of ticks and fleas. "The 'grassland' can be someone's backyard, and tick hosts like deer, coyotes and turkeys move back and forth between the grassy areas and patches of forest." The conditions created by forest fragmentation are conducive to the proliferation of ticks. Additional sunlight; increased food sources for deer, white-footed mice and other tick hosts; and fewer tick-host predators translate to more ticks, which are highly effective at carrying and transmitting dangerous, illness-causing bacteria to pets and humans. Tick-borne ailments—including, but not limited to, Lyme disease There have been reports of over 1050 incidents in the last 10 years alone!!!
Ice Shedding: Ice falling from tower or blades may be a hazard to humans In Minnesota Mark Eddie Ketterling was cut in half when a chunk of ice from a wind turbine fell and struck him! Blade Drop: Blades may become damaged because of structural failure or imbalance At wolverine creek wind farm Idaho two turbine blades snap into after being in operation for one month! Lightning strikes: High towers are of concern because they may attract lightning. Lightning strikes could affect humans, farm animals, wildlife and man-made structures. Blade failure at Bennington VT 9 blades have been replaced due to lighting damage. Lightning could create a risk of fires. Three turbine-ignited fires have burned dozens of acres each! Benjamin James Thovson was killed and two others injured in a turbine fire at East Ridge wind farm in Chandler Minnesota. Wind farms may affect weather in their immediate vicinity. Overall, wind farms lead to a warming at night and cooling during the day
There is no shortage of Electricity! Maine has 4300 Megawatts of Electric generation Capacity we only use 1500 Megawatts if fact wind power cost as much as 3 times current power your electric rate will likely increase! Wind power will not get us off oil or coal less than 2% of electricity in Maine and the US is from Oil Natural gas provides about 50% of Maine’s electricity with no particulate emissions and half the CO2 of coal. Coal is only ½ of 1 % of Maine Electric Power Wind Power in Maine will have no impact on CO2 windmills built on 300 miles of Maine Mountain’s would only reduce co2 output in US by less than Four one hundredths of one percent 0.04% Tourism is Maine’s number one industry. Wind power will kill tourism in Maine’s mountains. How will people make a living when the tourists stop coming? On April 24 2012 the annual report from the Institute of Economics and Peace ranked Maine as the most peaceful state for the 11th consecutive year, how does Maine do so well when gun ownership is so high? Maine average household income is about 90% of the average in the U. S. Maine’s average education level is slightly below the national average. There must be other reasons why Maine is such a peaceful state. Could it be the natural beauty of our state? This will all end!!! Wind power will change Maine’s Landscape forever!! as well as for iconic companies such as L.L. Bean and Poland Spring.: mountain blasting, trout and eagle kills, noise and light pollution, and clear-cuts for roads and transmission. Night skies will be punctuated with the red strobe lights on the turbines, visible for 40 miles. Wind towers require aircraft warning lights which may create light pollution. Complaints about these lights have caused the FAA to consider allowing fewer lights per turbine in certain areas. There have been several cases of planes flying into turbine towers four men killed when their plane struck a tower in Baraboo WI. TIF Moneys will have no effect on your taxes in fact these funds can’t be used to reduce a towns Tax burden! check out the names and places Ive listed here

Jason Theriault's picture

900 words....

And I will refute it in under 50....

Above study by Massassachusetts found noise and flicker did not affect people outside of annoying them. Ice Shedding is only a problem if your close, and the half mile set back is more than adequate to protect from that

ta da

Norman Mitchell's picture

Facts from the experts

Stop drinking the Kool Aid long enough to read try this info
Wind Turbine Syndrome
A Report on a Natural Experiment
a book by Nina Pierpont

Dr. Nina Pierpont explains in simple, layman’s terms how turbine infrasound and low frequency noise (ILFN) create the seemingly incongruous constellation of symptoms she has christened Wind Turbine Syndrome. (Incongruous only to the non-clinician who does not understand Mother Nature’s organs of balance, motion, and position sense.) For the high level clinician, Pierpont provides a parallel chapter written in sophisticated medical language and format, complete with voluminous, up-to-date clinical and scientific references. ect ect you should give a read and a listen to the real experts

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, earned the MD degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and PhD (Population Biology) from Princeton University. She is an honors graduate of Yale University. She has been Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Columbia University’s College of Physicians & Surgeons, Senior Attending Physician in Pediatrics at Bassett Healthcare (Cooperstown, NY), Chief of Pediatrics at a native-run hospital on the Alaska tundra, and pediatrician to the St. Regis Mohawk Nation (NY State). Currently, she is in private practice on the northern boundary of the Adirondack Park (NY State), specializing in behavioral medicine (children & adults). She is licensed in the State of NY and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

 's picture

Mass study

That study is being torn apart for all its in accuracies.


Falmoutn Mass asking for new study. Canada Health is doing a study. Environmental Court of New Zealand ruling that health is affected.

Alan Michka's picture

More honesty in 2008 would gone a long way

With all due respect, I think the argument is about a little more than "I live in the country and I want it to stay undeveloped." I think that unfairly trivializes some of the issues people have with Maine wind projects. Is having the tranquility of your home and/or your sleep, lost to the whims of development, something we should just shut up and live with? Especially if we were led to believe that land use and zoning standards would remain predictable and reasonable in the places we chose to live. This isn't a new school or recreation center - it's a large development and a significant departure from the traditional uses of the land in rural Maine. It was foisted upon us in emergency legislation (no emergency existed, of course) with no real opportunity to have input into the decision.

As far as one group of people telling someone how they can and cannot use their land......well, that's what zoning and land use standards do and have always done - and they're very common all over America. Four years ago, a developer couldn't build a wind project on the land next door to me in the UTs without first having the zoning changed - something the law gives me and my other neighbors the right to comment on and potentially influence. The legislature took that away from us explicitly for the benefit of companies wanting to develop wind projects - no others. A look at the creation of that change in statute reveals a process that was a bit unsavory, to say the least.

You make a few good points, but please do not belittle the lives of the people who will have to live with the effects of these projects - effects that do exist, as two Maine wind developers have acknowledged to me personally.

Junk science? Do you mean like mountaintop wind turbines in Maine are going to stop global climate change? Get us off of oil? Stop coal mining? None of these things are likely to hinge on whether or not wind turbines go up on top of Maine's mountains. Remember, junk science is available to everyone.

 's picture


I do not understand it all. But 25% capacity is not good. Loss in transmission is every electrical source problem un less on site."Parasitic" draw is greater than the industry will tell.

Read Bethel citizens letters to the editor and see what I fear.

Yes, I live 2000 feet from a proposed turbine....i am fighting with all my might.

WIND is a low density energy. Canada is sitting there ready to supply southern new england with all the "green": power they need. I am willing to bet they will be in this business even without the RECs WIND plays around with.

Jason Theriault's picture

Here's how I look at it

I try not to argue the physics or the economics of wind turbines because while I do have an understanding of the basics, I know I don't have all the data. I am also the wrong person to ask. I love technology. I think wind mills look cool. I see Wind Mills as our continuing struggle to try and thrive on the land without destroying it, so I see alot of good in it.

 's picture

Get a Grasp

Jason, you say you have an understanding of the basics of the physics and economics of wind power? Clearly you do NOT. Every single person who actually digs into the REAL FACTS about this complex issue come to the following conclusion: wind power has horrendous economics and would never be in business except for subsidies, tax breaks, selling Enron-inspired RECs, and heinous, arbitrary mandates. If the pandering politicians would get government out of the afore-mentioned schemes for ALL forms of energy, we wouldn't have crappy ethanol, massive land-hogging solar arrays, or industrial scale wind turbines. Our energy needs would be well served by energy-dense, cost-competetive sources.

The other conclusion would be that wind turbines are physics-challenged and don't work effectively enough to be worth the cost to taxpayers and ratepayers. REAL FACTS here, Jason. The FERC website now has the data posted for the second quarter of 2012 and it shows miserable capacity factors for Maine projects: Record Hill: 22.57%; Rollins: 22.34%; Kibby: 20.25%; Stetson I: 15.64%; Stetson II: 17.84%; Mars Hill: 29.75%. Now we are in the 3rd Quarter, which includes the periods of greatest electricity demand in New England (air conditioning the office towers in Boston, etc.) that is characterized by the most slack winds of the year. I will be sure to keep you posted.

As I love to ask people, would you buy an appliance that works only 25% of the time? Would you buy an appliance that frequently doesn't work when you need it? Or it is working and fizzles out, dies out for a while, then has a surge followed by more skittering operation? Would you buy the most costly appliance, then turn around and buy another one to back it up because your new appliance you want to brag about isn't predictable or reliable? I always get consistent "No" as responses. Well, the government is doing the exact same thing by mandating and subsidizing wind power. It doesn't work and is hugely expensive, and blasting away, leveling, and scalping our mountains is environmentally damaging in Maine, so why should we allow industrial wind sprawl?

Jason Theriault's picture

I have a grasp, do you

Not only do I have a grasp, I can make my arguments without calling the other side names and resorting to hyperbole.

Please, post a link to the FERC data. I tried finding it, but I had no luck. I am interested in seeing the numbers. And your last paragraph shows you missed the point of wind all together. Wind power doesn't replace on demand generation, it supplements is. Is it cost effective? I don't know, I haven't seen alot of numbers for it, but according to Energy Information Administration (http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/), Wind is competitive with other forms of power generation.

 's picture

Gee, I'm Sorry!

Gee, I'm sorry I called you Jason in that comment I posted. As far as hyperbole is concerned, none there! So, you find digging for hidden information challenging? Too bad. We have two people who work independently on obtaining this information to ensure the figures agree and there is no fudging. We are not First Wind, after all. We are earnest, honest, truth seeking citizens. BTW, one of the people mining this data is a financial analyst who specializes in energy economics. Wow, have I learned a lot from him--the good, the bad, and the ugly; the logical as well as the non-sensical.

There is no silver bullet link to get this information and the wind industry doesn't want you to know the embarassing output. But just to whet your appetite for facts a bit more, Mr. Theriault (oops! there I go again, calling names!), here are figures specific to Record Hill in Roxbury, Angus King's pride and joy:

Second Quarter
Mw/Hrs 24,896
Energy Revenue $658,956
Capacity Payments $156,265
Total Energy & CP $815,221
$$$/Energy Mw/Hr $26.47
Capacity Factor 22.57%

Norman Mitchell's picture

Pay off

Patriot Renewables says it will respond to each community's needs, as far as donations are concerned. What they mean is they will buy the support they need then leave town and laugh all the way to the bank with our tax dollars !!!
Carthage villagers were handed $20 bills to spend at the Blue Moose for whatever was their need. guess they thought they could by Carthage cheep !! great story Alice !!


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