S. Chaisson: Wind power works for me

I am well read on all the negativity about the benefits with the windmills. It seems funny that no one asks folks in Roxbury about Record Hill Wind's benefits.

I just got my 2011 tax bill reduced 65 percent, plus a stipend of $110 paid quarterly.

The turning windmills are working for the residents of Roxbury. I have not heard anyone willing to swap their benefits for a minuscule visual change to our mountains that most people don't look at anyway.

The windmills may not change the overall price of power, but certainly help to reduce oil capital going to the nation's enemies that use it to destroy U.S. interests around the world.

Stephen Chaisson, Roxbury

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 's picture


Read the article . Where would you like to get your info, the AWEA? FirstWind? Big oil is also supporting wind projects. What difference does it make if Bryce is correct?

 's picture


Anyone with the mistaken notion that wind power is the answer needs to read Robert Bryce's "Renewable Energy's Incurable Scale Problem", or have someone read it to you.

Jason Theriault's picture


Just did a google/wikipedia search on him. Apparently he is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a conservative think tank which gets some funding from Oil companies.

I haven't read what the man said, and so I will stop short of saying he is full of it, but any hope of me looking at him as a non-biased source went bye bye.

 's picture

A recent story in this

A recent story in this newspaper revealed the city of Lewiston's participation in the " demand response " program administered by ISO-NE. Participants are paid to remove demand of electricity from the grid during peak demand periods, thus enhancing grid reliability. This is done by either shutting off devices using electricity or using on-site generation to replace grid power. Lewiston elects to use a diesel generator during these periods. " Green up " Lewiston

 's picture

For 30 years all we have been

For 30 years all we have been told is how we are supposed to avoid wasting energy inside our households, but , fabulous wind gets a pass. Because it is unpredictable, it needs back-up generation sources to be ready to respond when it stops blowing, thus , gas-fired plants are kept operating in ready mode, burning and wasting fuel.
But, if you're getting a tax break and some free electricity, someone else can pay for the wastefulness..

 's picture

Willing to swap.....

Since the Roxbury project is a done deal, there is no way for the people in the area to 'swap', is there? It's pointless and unproductive to make such broad assumptions.

I've spoken with Roxbury residents and property owners who are very unhappy with the project--just like many people in Woodstock are unhappy about the Spruce Mt. wind project, and some people in Lincoln are disturbed by the Rollins Wind project...and folks in Freedom are living with health problems and quality of life issues due to the Beaver Ridge wind project. Everywhere that turbine facilities are built near humans, there are complaints, lawsuits and very real distress.

Angus King--an admitted millionaire-- finagled a $102 million loan guarantee by standing on the backs of American tax-payers, via the Dept. of Energy. Independence Wind can afford to spend that paltry $445.00 per resident and $225.00 per seasonal dweller each year. It's pennies when compared to the bounty they will pocket in incentives, Production Tax Credits, accelerated depreciation and other similar benefits taken from tax- and rate-payers. And please....do pay attention to what Roxbury property taxes do in the next few years. Once the state comes in and re-evaluates the town and re-sets its revenue sharing, the bottom line will likely be very different.

Enjoy those little perks while you can, but please be compassionate to those in your area who are sensitive to the ultra-low frequency (unheard) noise, the unceasing audible noises, and the blighted views of their previously unspoiled horizons. Just because you aren'y suffering any negative impacts does not mean that your neighbors aren't. Perhaps you won't hear them complain, because you appear to be a strong proponent of the project and many people avoid controversial conversations....especially when they've lost the battle and there doesn't seem to be a point to arguing about it. But there are very real people in Roxbury who believe that their quality of life has taken a huge hit. It's important that they be granted respect for their differing views and experiences.

Pertaining to your claim of 'reducing oil capital going to the nation's enemies', I'd like to see the facts you use to back that statement. Less than 2% of Maine's electricity is generated by oil (and only then on those very hot summer days when a/c units increase demand)--and that small amount of oil comes from Canada and Mexico. Hardly our 'enemies'. That statement is one used by the wind industry when they are trying to sell their high-cost, low value product to unsuspecting and uninformed people. Please take the time to do independent research from unbiased experts and sources. You won't be sorry---you'll be enlightened.

Karen Pease
Lexington Twp., Maine

 's picture

Stephen, no amount of

Stephen, no amount of windmills sprawling across every high ridge and mountain top in this state, this region, or this country, is going to wean us off of foreign oil or make us any safer. For thirty years industrial wind has been relying completely on taxpayer subsidies and it still only contributes less than 2% of this nation's energy. Industrial wind is not a dispatchable energy source. It can't be stored. It's intermittent and unpredictable, and the reason why we ratepayers are having to take a whopping hit to our bills is due to the transmission upgrade required to handle the intermittent pulses of energy that surge into the lines when gusts of wind blow. Unfortunately these gusts don't produce much power. The wind quality in Maine is rated fair to poor. Maine is not the Saudi Arabia of wind. But these industrial wind projects DO have the power to bankrupt this state. A 19% jump in rates is no small change to most rate payers and certainly not to small businesses struggling to stay afloat. As for our scenic viewsheds having no value to "most people", our scenic quality of place draws in ten billion dollars annually in tourist dollars. They don't come here to see industrial sprawl. They come here to escape it. It's time to replace politically motivated and completely unproven "green scams" with real science. Keep Maine beautiful!

 's picture


Maine is Alaska to SNE and Conn and NJ and Cosmo........they bring money.....western maine=no stores

 's picture

off the grid but not far enough away

Stephanie, I have lived off the grid for 12+years. We installed a small wind turbine as well as solar and I have regretted it since. Why? Too noisy. Solar is silent (no moving parts). when the wind rustles, the sound is soothing and then the turbine starts whirring.
Remote places like Garland Pond in Byron Maine have agreed to no generators and enjoyed quiet, beautiful days and nights until King Angus built a WIND project in the next town. Now the West shore camps see and hear all 22 turbines. No more star studded skys. NOW red floating, blinking lights, all night long.....Wakes some people up.
This project blasted Record Hill ledges. Ledges with springs. Ledges with quartz viens running through them. No nuclear waste in Western Maine because of these viens. They crack. When these ancient water viens crack; so does the spring water contained above. You cannot fix these cracks and water will not grow back up the ledge.
What about wildlife? Transmission lines are needed where unneccesary. Habitats fragmented. Who cares? I suppose they do.
Many hippies bought into solar power years ago. Many live in remote areas. Many, as we do, maintain there own roads. You are not alone.
On site solar is the way to cut electricity consumption in half, even if u do live on the grid.
People need to take this issue into their own hands. You did. We are Mainers, we love independence. Simplify and install as modules and anyone can do it. Feel un safe with your work? Have a knowledgeable meter reader test your connections. Have an electrician advise you. Our solar systems are basic and we installed them ourselves.
WIND has been around for 20+ years. It is not working, "The Germany Experience".
Show us numbers of power generated and reduction in toxics.

 's picture

It would be interesting to

It would be interesting to see the details of the assessed taxable value of the Record Hill Project. Is there a depreciation percentage applied each year ? Wind turbines, as a machine like automobiles, undergo wear and tear and, like the automobile, lose value with age. Does anyone in Roxbury know how these turbines will affect tax revenue with depreciation ? Get what you can get now, because 10 to 15 years down the road, their value and worthlessness will show up like an old clunker.
If natural gas prices go lower for electrical generation or any of the current favorable government programs dedicated to support wind are altered or eliminated, the project would likely come to a standstill , in electrical generation and tax revenue generation.

Norman Mitchell's picture


I hope you will let us know how your taxes are in 5 years when the school funding catches up with you the state has a 2 year lag time sort term temporary spending to get your tax dollars its nice of them to give some of it back to you temporarily ! Don't you know their taking it from your other pocket ? and also OIL IS NOT USED TO PRODUCE POWER IN THIS COUNTRY !!!!! Oh and by the way you should talk to others in Roxbury who hate the view and have made noise complaints that have been reported right in this paper !! get the real information and stop Drinking the kool aid Information is king !!!

Jason Theriault's picture

Check your facts

It's funny that you yell at the author of the letter for "drinking the kool aid", but you have no issue with not bother to check what you write.
30% of Maine's power is from oil. The biggest is the William F Wyman Oil Plant in Yarmouth produces 605 megawatts.

Information is king. Try getting some


 's picture

YOU are the one who needs to check facts

Tell us just where you get the figures you cite here. As always, I checked out links. There is nothing on either of those websites to support your quoted "facts". Yes, the Wyman plant is an oil fired plant, but it's capacity is 846 MW. It would be a huge contributor to the New England grid if it were converted to natural gas. But the owners are content to have it sitting warm as a back up, so it actually doesn't produce much electricity. Here's the rub on wind & the Wyman plant, which when it fires is the largest single point source of air pollution in Maine. When I was in Lee from July 11-16, it was hot all over New England. Not a breeze was stirring. The Rollins project turbines in Lincoln Lakes (Lee is part) hardly moved all six days. Go to the ISO-NE website and view the trend upward for electricity demand are commensurate with a trend downward in output from wind. What made up the difference? Oil-fired Wyman. Wind is undependable and non-dispatchable and it failed when we needed it during that hot stretch.

But I digress. This is where the true statistics on the role of oil-fired electricity generation in Maine is found, for all you "fact" geeks like me & Jason: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/maine/pdf/maine.pdf Table 5: Electric Power Net Generation by Primary Energy Source. Under the heading "Total Electric Industry" it shows that in 2010, the latest update, Petroleum was 1.6%

Norman Mitchell's picture


2.8 % is petroleum percent used to generate electricity in Maine wow !! not 30 % better check your facts http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/states/maine/ your first link is misleading information about New England and your old info on the 2nd link that only goes up to 2007 dont make the grade nice try I would snuggest you try to get some current data !

Jason Theriault's picture

First off, my 2nd link was a

First off, my 2nd link was a listing of oil power plants in the united states. While it may be from 2007, I'm pretty sure most are still in operation.

Secondly, I see your website, and raise you the Department of Energy's website

Still wayyyyy higher than what you would lead us to believe with " OIL IS NOT USED TO PRODUCE POWER IN THIS COUNTRY !!!!!"

Still want to go round on this? Unless the bible has some figures on Maine's power generation, I don't think your going to find a better source than the D...O...E...

Alan Michka's picture

I'll go round on this with you

I'll see your outdated data (2005? Come on.) on electricity generation from oil in Maine and raise you current information from the DOE and ISO New England.

From the ISO New England 2011 Regional System Plan: Percentage of electricity generated from oil in New England in 2010 - 0.4%

From the DOE's EIA: Percentage of electricity generated from oil in Maine in 2010 - 1.6%. (Like you said, you can't find a better source than the DOE - current data, preferably.)

Time to update your sources. Maine's been rapidly decreasing it's use of oil for electricity production over the last decade.

The figures for U.S. production of electricity with oil is around 2% or less. Wind turbines and foreign oil have little to do with one another.

Jason Theriault's picture

Who cares the date

Who cares what the date is? I mean, do you think there was a 17% change in our power generation in less than 10 years?

Secondly - links.

I tried to find the best sources, but I admit I didn't invest alot of time into it, and if you have better data, show me the data. Don't summarize it for me, I want to see the data. Because there is a wide gap in the numbers your showing me, and the numbers I am finding. If I'm wrong, I'll admit it.

 's picture

Here it is, Table 5

http://www.eia.gov/electricity/state/maine/pdf/maine.pdf Jason, while people do get worked up over this highly controversial matter regarding wind power and it's multitude of issues, I find that the citizens are doing diligence in a remarkable way. The citizens are battling 20 years of nearly unfettered lobbying and one-sided skewing of facts and misrepresentations and, in some cases, outright lies by the wind industry. The industry has been abetted by complicit and complacent media that fails to ask tough questions or to do investigative reporting. As one of those citizens, I volunteer my personal time to get the truth out in order to save my beloved home state from unnecessary destruction by an industry that wouldn't exist without zealous "green" ideology taking the place of science and economics.

Jason Theriault's picture


Ok, a few things.

1. Table 2, the largest power generation plant in the state is the William F Wyman plant in Yarmouth - oil
2. Holy ****, that's a drop off. Table 5, petroleum drops right off in 10 years. Is there an explanation? Is that due to co-generation dropping off due to high oil prices? Wondering, thats all.

Brad, here's my thing. I see the people who react the most vigorously to this are the ones who live near these sites. And they always reference sites that are clearly agenda driven, showing a clear conformational bias. When you accuse the other side of lying or tricking people, you need examples, or I'm just going to assume it's hyperbole.

 's picture

Talking Facts

Jason, pleased you are studying those tables and thanks for bringing Table 2 to our attention, as it helps answer your question. At one time, the two big producers of electricity in Maine were Maine Yankee and Wyman on Cousins Island. Well, Maine Yankee was forced to close and oil went from cheap to expensive. Along came the Sable Island gas discovery and the Maritimes and Northeast pipeline. Very lucky for us that this valuable and cost effective resource came available when it did.

So, in Table 2, the first plant listed is the oil fired Wyman Plant, but the next three listed are the three natural gas plants that were built to take the place of Maine Yankee's 900 MW capacity. Veazie and Rumford were commissioned in 2000; Westbrook was commissioned in 2001. They combine for 1250 MW. Also in that decade, the paper mills in Maine increased selling excess power to the grid and several hydro upgrades increased output. It doesn't surprise me, then, that the heavily polluting and expensive Wyman plant would be used as little as possible, given the other resources. Unit 1 at Wyman dates back to 1957, the most recent unit 4 was installed in 1978--they are old and inefficient.

Again, if we were to convert Wyman to natural gas, re-configuring and modernizing an existing resource, the steady, reliable, predictable, and dispatchable output of that single plant would exceed the total output of the envisioned 2700 MW of installed capacity of wind, which at 25% cf is 675 MW of unpredictable, unreliable non-dispatchable electricity. We wouldn't be spending $6 billion for wind turbines, we wouldn't need 1,000 miles of new powerlines to hook into the grid, and we would save our mountains from destruction and ensure our "Quality of Place".

Norman Mitchell's picture


LOL you still use old info from 2005 and 2006 have any up to date stuff yes oil is not used to generate electricity wind power will not get us off oil that was the point !! If you think a miniscule, insignificant amount is worth destroying Maine for then You win !! some people aren't worth my time they just cant see the forest for the trees !!

Norman Mitchell's picture

Oil use

I guess I should not have said oil is not used to produce electricity in the us what i should have said so the uneducated on the subject could understand is an insignificant amount of oil is use to produce electricity in the us around 1.5 % to 2 %

Norman Mitchell's picture

Oil use

I guess I should not have said oil is not used to produce electricity in the us what i should have said so the uneducated on the subject could understand is an insignificant amount of oil is use to produce electricity in the us around 1.5 % to 2 %

Jason Theriault's picture

Double posting doesn't make you right

Take a deep breath and stop clicking the submit button.


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