Former Gov. Angus King to update Bethel Chamber on Maine wind power

BETHEL — Former Gov. Angus King will give a progress report on wind power in Maine at the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast forum from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

The breakfast will be held in the South Dining Room at The Bethel Inn Resort.

Currently, there are 173 operating wind turbines in Maine, which provide 325.5 megawatts of installed capacity, Robin Zinchuk, chamber executive director, stated in a Thursday report.

That’s enough to power more than 114,000 homes at 25 percent capacity factor, and there are 77 more turbines currently under construction or that have received permits, she said.

Developers have spent nearly $1 billion since 2004 on these wind projects, which have created a stream of new state and local tax revenues, while employing hundreds of Maine people, she said.

“Governor King’s presentation is called ‘Wind Power in Maine: A Progress Report,’ a timely and important topic for all of Maine to consider,” Zinchuk said.

She said King welcomes the opportunity to speak to businesses and friends of the Bethel Area Chamber. He will also answer questions from the audience.

King served as governor of Maine from 1995-2003. His diverse background includes practicing law, serving as a U.S. Senate staff person, and developing hydroelectric and biomass power plants.

Additionally, King has been a successful energy efficiency entrepreneur; a PBS-radio and TV commentator, and most recently, a visiting professor at Bowdoin College.

King and business partner Rob Gardiner are currently constructing a 22-turbine wind farm atop Roxbury hills that will be operational by November or December.

Registration is $15 ($10 for members of the chamber), which includes a full buffet breakfast.

Space is limited, Zinchuk said, so attendees are asked to RSVP and prepay by Friday, Oct. 7, by calling the chamber at 824-2282. Credit cards are accepted.

For more information, call the above number or write to

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Gary Steinberg's picture

Just The Factys Please, Mr Snake - Oil Salesman

It is long overdue for the Wind Industry to be forced to run the real numbers and utilize real physics.

The only one who stands to gain anything seems to be the wind shills.

So here is the basic math if you are not math challenged. We don’t get what we pay for , ever , with the renewable scam.

Now , if you really want to subsidize, it (subsidization) must be looked at on a PER-UNIT of OUPUT Basis.
Renewable suck in the money for next to nothing in return.

In 2007, natural gas fired electricity got just .$25 per megawatt hour federal subsidization and natural gas produced more than 900 million megawatt hours of electricity on demand , base load 24/7/365 days a year! (EIA official stats).
In 2007,wind produced 31 million MW-hrs! (EIA data), at $23.37 subsidized per MW-hr !
The wind power sector therefore got 93 times as much in federal subsidies as natural gas , even though the natural gas sector produced 28 times more electricity than wind, of high value base load!
Remember gas gets .$25 (25 cents)mW-hr.Wind got $23.37 MW-hr subsidization
Gas generated 900 million MW-hrs! Gas was subsidized 25 cents ($.25) per MW hr.
Feckless wind generated 31 million Mg-watt hours! Subsidized $23.37 per MW-hr!

And also remember, natural gas was available 24/7/365, wind has no base load capacity. Wind is highly intermittent and was not available on demand and has no base load capacity.
(This is all official Energy Information Administration Data )

WE CAN’T AFFORD THE WIND FARCE ANY LONGER! Business cannot afford power at over double the price, sometimes when the wind blows!
Wind is intermittent , non –base load power. YOU NEVER GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. THERE IS NOTHING MAGICAL about the electrons Wind produces, other than the fact they are very costly!
Gas, Hydro, other high density sources of electrons are the only way to go.
And the new domestic shale gas reserves of 2500 trillion cubic feet will last this country a very long time!

Let’s be adults here and do the right thing concerning energy, not fad following global warming children.

Gary Steinberg's picture

How about a Fact Mr. King? Not the HYPE you offer.


The wind power industry does not cite any body of empirical evidence that wind power:
- reduces emissions
- reduces reliance on imports of fossil fuels
- enhances “energy independence”
- can be easily integrated into a grid system
- reduces electricity costs

Their claims of performance or benefits are based upon theoretical concepts which have failed to materialize into actual practice over more than two decades worldwide.

Gary Steinberg's picture

Suich A Deal, Mr King!


- Maine’s statutory goal is 2700 megawatts of wind power on land

- As many as 1800 turbines, 400 feet tall

- 360 miles of developed wilderness ridges

- Thousands of new clearcuts for transmission corridors

- At a 25% capacity factor, this actually produces only 675 megawatts. This small amount of power could be produced at one medium-sized conventional natural gas power plant.

 's picture

no capacity


75% does not blow
10-30% loss in transmission
5% "parasitic" draw 24/7 from GRID



Gary Steinberg's picture

So what if it COSTS A LOT MORE, RIGHT?


- Maine electric rates:

- In 1985 were only 9 % higher than the US average.

- In 1990, 20% higher.

- In 1995, 49% higher.

- In 2000, 52% higher.

- In 2007, 59% higher than US average.

Today we remain approximately 60% more expensive than the rest of the country.

Depending upon the category of customer, Maine’s electric rates range from #9 to #6 most expensive in the US. Many states (like Iowa) pay rates two and a half times lower than ours. If we ever do need more electricity in Maine, rather than wind, there are numerous ways to get more power which have far less impact and far greater benefit to our economy and environment.

This disparity in our electric bills is an annual penalty on Maine businesses and consumers of $700 million, equivalent to 25% of our state tax collections.

At about three million dollars per MW for wind projects complete with remote transmission connections, the capital costs for installing a wind generating facility are around three times more expensive than for conventional generating plants. For instance, a typical natural gas facility would incur capital costs of about one million dollars per MW.

The mid-sized 540 MW CalPine plant in Westbrook is an example of how Maine could generate 675 MW of electricity in one small industrial park rather than sprawling wind turbines over 360 miles of pristine and remote ridges. The fuel for the wind turbines is free, but all other aspects of windpower, including functional lifespan, are far more costly.

A recent power purchasing agreement between a Massachusetts utility and a wind power company will increase customers’ rates by an average $1.59 per month. That utility has 7 times the number of customers that our utility, Central Maine Power Company has, and that single contract calls for the utility to purchase merely half the power from one wind farm. This alarming rate impact from a tiny addition of purchased power shows the potential devastating impact of widespread wind purchases.

Gary Steinberg's picture

King Wind, a Subsidized Failure if FACTS are applied ..SCIENCE?

The Science of Wind Facts concludes with a simple but poignant excerpt from John Droz: Wind Power – How We Got Here. Droz reminds us of how wind power fails almost every historical test for viability in grid-scale electricity generation:IT FAILS ALL THE BELOW!

The first practical use of electricity, in the late 1800s, is generally attributed to Thomas Edison (a founder of General Electric). Of course there were actually dozens of people who contributed to making commercial electricity a reality. And there were a LOT of formidable hurdles to overcome. One of the initial primary issues was: where was this electricity going to come from? For the first hundred years or so, there were six over-riding concerns about commercial electricity generators:
1 - could they provide large amounts of electricity?
2 - could they provide reliable and predictable electricity?
3 - could they provide dispatchable 1 electricity?
4 - could they service one or more of the grid demand elements 2?
5 - could their facility be compact 3?
6 - could they provide economical electricity?

1 Dispatchable means a source can generate higher or lower amounts of power on-demand,
1.NO, 2.No 3.No 4. NO 5.No 6.NO

Gary Steinberg's picture

The King Snake Oil Scoundrel of Wind Scamming Moves South!

He is neither virtuous nor wise.

Wind developers like King and First Wind are mostly cynical profiteers out to make a buck, who pull the necessary strings and grease the necessary palms to win their approvals...They are opportunists who travel to financially distressed rural areas of Maine and entice unsuspecting residents and rural folks to sign their lease agreements which neuter their rights to their own land.Most of the others are ill-informed and idealistic-and maybe a bit impulsive-who have no idea what they are in for once the blades of the industrial energy generator begin to spin. They reassure energy committees and town fathers that everything will be fine. They bribe with other half baked schemes. Talk is cheap!

Angus King and his son, a CEO of First Wind involved in Merger and Acquisition of Wind projects, are no more than despicable snake oil scoundrels and salesmen, using past political history to make millions off the backs of Mainers to scam taxes and desecrate environment.

 's picture

Les Otten , when he owned

Les Otten , when he owned Sunday River, once came to Rumford to respond to Rumford's idea of establishing itself as a recreation based community, with focus of expanding the Black Mountain ski area. He told them they were a traditional based industrial community and recreation and industry don't mix well.
After seeing Bethel go big time recreational , with Sunday River as it's focal point,why , on Earth, would they consider allowing industrial wind to invade their world renowned hamlet.
I asked a local developer of ski lodge type homes who was in the midst of creating such a development on a local ridge line what kind of money it would take for him to abandon his pursuit and sell off the ridge line to a wind developer. Answer: 240 million dollars, the anticipated value in this subdivision. It would be ridiculous to think a wind developer would put forth this kind of potential revenue and it would be ridiculous to think that the value obtained by the town from wind farms with their unknown longevity could possibly exceed the value in home construction.
By the way, this developer employs more people than wind projects could ever dream of employing.
Whatever you will say about Les Otten and Sunday River, the Town of Bethel is reaping the benefits of it being there and the future says they will continue to do so, WITHOUT SUCKING INTO INDUSTRIAL WIND.

 's picture

Science and politics don't mix

“Governor King’s presentation is called ‘Wind Power in Maine: A Progress Report,’ a timely and important topic for all of Maine to consider,” Zinchuk said.

Progress Report? That's an interesting name for it, and it certainly is something for all Mainers to consider before it's too late.

There is absolutely no scientific evidence proving that wind power does anything beneficial for the environment, for the power grid, for CO2 reduction, for people's pocket books or for local jobs. None. Nada. Zip.

Science and politics have never mixed. Angus King's industrial wind project in Roxbury is proof of that.

 's picture

proof of record hill?

what proof from Record Hill ? Science and Politics do not mix?
Money? Record Hill Wind is like 70% financed by tax payers?
Jobs are fleeting then what are we left with? Let us see if Roxbury camps do go up for sale.
I see no science on Record Hill, I see destruction of ice-age ec0systems?

 's picture

New Page struggles from

New Page struggles from strategies devised by their competitors in China. Just the wind farms in Maine contribute 2/3 of a billion dollars to this competitor. Something doesn't smell good about this. King's wisdom has us subsidizing our competitor and the mill sinks deeper.

 's picture


doesn’t say is that while $1 billion has been spent on industrial wind developments built in Maine, approximately two-thirds of that money has gone overseas to countries like China, where the turbines are manufactured.

Two-thirds of that $1 billion was not “invested” in Maine.

also made no mention of that fact that the lion’s share of the money “invested” in wind comes from federal, state and local subsidies: grants, loan guarantees, tax production credits, renewable energy credits, accelerated depreciation and tax increment financing. This is money from our pockets, and the pockets of future generations of Mainers.

might also like to speak with Maine Revenue Services to clarify exactly how many years that “tax revenue” increase of $ is expected to last.

Do we let this poor energy source bleed us dry while damaging our mountain ecosystems and causing health problems for our citizens? Or do we call a halt to wind development now, while we study wind’s true costs, its output, its reliability?

The wind isn’t going anywhere. If its benefits can be proven to outweigh its negative impacts, can we not continue the massive build-out a few years from now?

Maine already produces more energy than we consume, so there is no hurry for wind.

Conscientious legislators will want to err on the side of caution. They’ll want to study existing wind facilities before investing another $1 billion of our money in this energy source.


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