Wind project unveiled for Canton Mountain

CANTON — Town residents and a few from neighboring towns got a first chance Tuesday night to learn about a seven turbine, $36 million proposed project for Canton Mountain.

Eileen M. Adams/Sun Journal

This is an artist's conception of seven wind turbines on Canton Mountain.

Eileen M. Adams/Sun Journal

Freemont Tibbetts of Dixfield, left, discusses the Canton Mountain wind power project with Patriot Renewables project manager Andy Novey during Tuesday night's presentation in Canton.

Eileen M. Adams/Sun journal

Patriot Renewables LLC project coordinator, Tom Carroll, right, explains some of the tax implications to Canton resident Chris Dailey during Tuesday night's unveiling of a seven turbine wind project proposed for Canton Mountain.

Patriot Renewables LLC, the Quincy, Mass., company that also has wind projects in various stages of development in neighboring Carthage, Dixfield and Woodstock, brought along simulated views of the turbines on the 1,500-foot mountain from various locations around town. The project, if built, would sit on a portion of about 1,000 acres of leased land.

Andy Novey, project manager, said it is currently in the design phase. Some of the wildlife and wetland studies have been completed, although more are planned for spring. If all studies are complete, he said his company would submit the project application to the state Department of Environmental Protection during the summer.

The Planning Board is currently reviewing a plan by Patriot Renewables to build a power substation on two acres of a 30-acre parcel off Ludden Lane. That plan was submitted to the DEP in November when the firm submitted its application for the Saddleback Mountain wind project in neighboring Carthage.

The long-range plan by Patriot Renewables is to cycle power generated by wind turbines in Carthage, Canton and Dixfield to the substation, which would then add that power to the nearby Central Maine Power line and then onto the New England grid.

Alden Hill Road resident Elise Despres lives across the Androscoggin River within sight of the planned turbines.

“I'm trying to keep an open mind. But the project would spoil the view of Canton Mountain,” she said.

Dean Pakulski lives on the Jay side of Canton Mountain. He said he is a wind power supporter because it is renewable energy.

“Anytime there's something new, the pros and cons must be evaluated. I think it would be a good thing in the long run. Electric cars are on the market, and electric furnaces are coming on line. The price for natural gas and oil aren't going down. If there are alternatives, that's a good thing,” he said.

Rob Walker, a Jewett Hill Road resident, likes the idea of a wind project coming to Canton.

“It would be infrastructure for the town, and tax money. I don't mind seeing windmills,” he said.

Selectman Donna Hebert said she had seen many wind farms in other parts of the world and country.

“There's not a lot of noise and no illness. I don't see anything wrong with them. Anything to cut the electric bill,” she said.

A group of wind turbine development opponents from Dixfield and Carthage also attended Tuesday's session. They passed out leaflets announcing a free public supper set for March 10 in Dixfield prior to an informational meeting by the DEP.

Planning Board Chairwoman Kathy Hutchins said when the proposed wind project comes before the board, a number of conditions, such as a bond for removal of the turbines when they are no longer needed, will likely be placed on it prior to granting site plan approval.

eadams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Green energy

I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't think we need something other than oil for a main energy. It needs to be brought about from the private sector through innovation. It can't be forced by the government. I am not convinced that any green energy thats out there is even close to being cost effective or efficient. People scream about global warming ( it's hot because of carbon out put, it's cold because of carbon out put, it's snowing too much because of carbon out put, it's not snowing enough because of carbon out put) and 'green companies' make their fortunes off of this selling inefficient products. It's such a scam and I wish more people would be aware of this.

Alice Barnett's picture

Farrington genius

Zach, are you from the area? Maybe Andover area? Are you related to the Farringtons that are ingenius and experiment in their barns how to make machines more efficient? Modify machines to help you out? I remember meeting some Farringtons and admired their mechanical abilities.
Yes, innovations. Heat pumps are made in maine. Insulation helps. I use solar panels for our electricity. We have a small 400 watt wind generator.
It does help when no sun. But, from day one, the noise has bothered me.

Green energy

I think you would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't think we need something other than oil for a main energy. It needs to be brought about from the private sector through innovation. It can't be forced by the government. I am not convinced that any green energy thats out there is even close to being cost effective or efficient. People scream about global warming ( it's hot because of carbon out put, it's cold because of carbon out put, it's snowing too much because of carbon out put, it's not snowing enough because of carbon out put) and 'green companies' make their fortunes off of this selling inefficient products. It's such a scam and I wish more people would be aware of this.

Alan Michka's picture

Ever notice

"He said he is a wind power supporter because it is renewable energy." So is corn ethanol, and it's also a huge waste of taxpayer money that has few if any redeeming qualities.

"Selectman Donna Hebert said she had seen many wind farms in other parts of the world and country. “There's not a lot of noise and no illness. I don't see anything wrong with them. Anything to cut the electric bill,” she said." Actually, a simple Google search would show you that there are noise problems on every continent where wind turbines are installed. More than a few doctors would disagree with Ms. Hebert. Perhaps she just knows better than they. Ms. Hebert, where are you getting the information from that makes you believe it's going to cut your electric bill? It only has the capacity to raise your bill.

Have you ever noticed that the less people know about wind energy development, the more they favor it? This industry thrives on misinformation and lack of understanding. It appears Patriot has handled the misinformation campaign well in Canton.

Western Maine is being sold off for a few dollars and nobody's even bothering to get the facts. Shameful.

Tom Olds's picture

Not a lot of Noise!

"Selectman Donna Hebert said she had seen many wind farms in other parts of the world and country.

“There's not a lot of noise and no illness. I don't see anything wrong with them. Anything to cut the electric bill,” she said."

Come on Ms Hebert! You don't have to leave the state to see the problems with wind turbines. Mars Hill...,huge problem with noise. In fact the problem is so bad the DEP had to give the turbine company a 5 decible variance before they were even built. In fact a bunch of families are suing the town and the wind company.

Freedom...huge problem with noise and flicker. But because the project is small (three turbines) Patriot Renewables can get away with it.

Vinalhaven...huge problem with noise. In fact the state agrees that they are out of compliance, but hasn't done anything about it yet.

You don't have to travel around the world to see that there are plenty of problems every where you go. But if you want to travel, try Denmark, one of the most turbine infested countries in the world. Recently Denmark banned all new land based wind power projects because of its citizens objections to the noise and loss of property values near wind farms.

Will there be turbines near you Ms Hebert? You'd better hope not.

As far as your electric bill goes...the more turbines we put in, the higher our electric bills are going. Please, please do a little research, Ms Hebert.

RONALD RIML's picture

"In fact a bunch of families are suing......."

Imagine that - folks suing in America. Why, I never!

Lisa Lindsay's picture

I'm sure

those folks at Mars Hill would be happy to sell you their beautiful homes for a decent price. The ones near these River Valley projects will be a bargain, too.

RONALD RIML's picture

Folks in Mars Hill would have been damn happy to sell before

the Wind Project was even considered.

Lisa Lindsay's picture

What?

Do your homework. Some had just built their dream homes and returned to the area before the turbines went up. You are completely wrong.

RONALD RIML's picture

So they built where others were trying to sell....

Didn't work out for them, did it.

Brad Blake's picture

Don't Go For The Scam, Canton!

The wind industry lies! Lies! Lies! Don't fall for it, Canton! Patriot Renewables is to Oxford County as First Wind is to the northeastern uplands. They are targeting every poor town they can in a cluster to put up turbines, reap the short term benefits, laugh all the way to the bank and then bail out, leaving a mess behind in the pillaged communities. Don't believe anything they say or show you. Right now, as the towers rise in Lincoln Lakes, there are many remarks around Lincoln like: "They are a lot bigger than First Wind's photo simulations showed" "They are bigger and more intrusive than I thought they would be" "They did a lot more blasting than expected" "I can't believe what they have done to Rollins Mt. and Rocky Dundee". These remarks are coming before the 124 foot long blades are attached to the nacelles and long before the incessant roar, screeches, and thumping noises echo across the lakes.

Life and property values will never be the same in Canton once you let Patriot Renewables come to town. Demand that the company prove to you what the wind measurements are and wait for their answer---until Hell freezes over. Industrial wind turbines are not feasible based on wind and output. Patriot renewables just wants Canton to host turbines so that: Taxpayers will pay for 30% of the construction, enable them to sell REC's based on nameplate, not actual capacity (an Enron-inspired scheme), gain preferential investment tax advantages, and then walk away when the subsidies are gone and the fickle trickle of electricity cannot make any money for them.

I know how destructive an industrial wind site is and the devastation of your local natural resources and the quality of place of your town is far worse than any of the reputed (and over-hyped) benefits of wind power. I am from Lincoln, where First Wind's Rollins Project will have 40 turbines, each 389 feet tall sprawled across more than 7 miles of ridges and more than 1,000 acres permanently clearcut. These ridges are blasted away and scalped. Go here to view photos from last November. https://picasaweb.google.com/Blueyes1119/RollinsConstructionNov72010 and https://picasaweb.google.com/Blueyes1119/RollinsDestructionNov2 For more information about industrial wind development in Maine from the citizens' perspective, visit www.windtaskforce.org

RONALD RIML's picture

They're scalped, and then they grow green again....

Who'de a thunk Mother Nature would still have a hand in things......

Lisa Lindsay's picture

If you've found a way

to re-grow rock, I'd love to hear about it. I asked Andy Novey once and he didn't know either. Some vegetation is allowed to re-grow, yes. That which is not kept at bay with herbicides regularly anyway. But you can't put a mountain back together again once it has been blasted.

RONALD RIML's picture

Then for all of Brad's complaining it was down to the

rock (scalp) already. Photos reveal not one heck of a lot of surrounding green outside of construction zone.

Are blasters doing much more than erosion evenutally will?

Lisa Lindsay's picture

Again

you are uneducated on this subject matter, sir. Read the DEP permit apps for these projects. If you do not like western Maine or care about the scenic quality here or about mountains in general, then I guess we have nothing to talk about. But don't pretend you really know what you are talking about.

RONALD RIML's picture

I know that weaning ourselves off coal and oil

may mean that I might eventually have to live with some tidal generation systems in the river behind my property. But I wouldn't interpret that to mean you personally didn't like coastal Maine or were uneducated.

The difference between the photos and rhetoric was significant. Rt. 95 indeed!!!

Alice Barnett's picture

costa rica

I talked to a lady last night. She said she went to Costa Rica and saw valleys full of wind turbines. No one was sick. The noise was bearable.
I looked up Costa Rica and they are mostly hydro and geo-thermal powered.
3% of Costa Ricas power generation is wind.
I do not know how many valleys will be needed for Costa Rica to depend on wind.
I bet Costa Rica does not have enough land for this low density energy.
Low density means it requires more space to create the energy.

My point is. Western Maine has only so many mountain tops. It will require over 2000 turbines and how many miles of transmission lines? to make a difference in (NOT MAINES) power bills.

Hydro power energy is denser because water is denser than air. Requires less space.

Hmm

I always wondered what the numbers looked like once you crunched 'em up. I was never able to find what they would be, not that I ever seriously looked into it. If what you say is correct, Alice, then this doesn't make much sense at all. I know some people who looked into wind energy for personal use, and it just wasn't very cost effective. I always wondered what it would be on a larger, commercial level. I guess not much better. It just goes along with my theory that the green movement, fueled by global warming alarmists, is nothing but a business. A very shady and misleading business at that.

Alice Barnett's picture

$36 million or $8 million?

nameplate capacity = 19.25 MW
nameplate is 100% of generators capacity
Wind turbines in Maine are generating under 18% (UMPI, Stetson)
Under 4 MW??? help me out here.
average US home = 10,000 kwh yearly
400 homes powered by this project

400 homes times $20,000 on-site solar generation is $8 million dollars.
No transmission line loss, minimum carbon foot print. Lasts 20-30-40 years and counting.

So go our US tax dollar into the big grid of power.

Mainers can get off fossil fuels at home. Wood fired and solar powered.

Dan McKay's picture

THREE GREAT COMMUNITIES,

THREE GREAT COMMUNITIES, Canton, Carthage and Dixfield. One construction company from Massachusetts seeking permission to disrupt the area's quality and character for an experiment in energy production. If ever there was a time to cast healthy skepticism and realistic judgement, now is the time.
Isn't it curious that everyone is demanding money be set aside and up front to pay for the removal of these projects ? Doesn't seem to indicate an overwhelming confidence the experiment will be a success.
March 10th, in Dixfield, along with a free supper, the truth, the math, the economics and politics of this ill-conceived experiment will change public perception and acceptance for
" this energy bubble ." Be assured, they are not " A DONE DEAL " yet.

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