Year of wind coming to an end

RUMFORD — Wind turbines came into Maine with a boom but two projects were able to go online without making a sound this month.

Erin Cox/Sun Journal

Two wind turbine projects in Oxford County are operational and on schedule for completion by the end of 2011. Record Hill Wind LLC in Roxbury, which is a 50.6 megawatt project with 22 wind turbines, has commissioned almost all of its turbines and will complete its tests on the rest in a week or two.

Erin Cox/Sun Journal

Two wind turbine projects in Oxford County are operational and on schedule for the completions of their project for the end of 2011. Patriot Renewable LLC, which is a 20 megawatt wind project with 10 turbines, is operational and sending power to the grid. Tom Carroll, project coordinator, said all 10 turbines have been commissioned.

Patriot Renewables LLC in Woodstock and Record Hill Wind LLC in Roxbury have commissioned most, if not all, of their wind turbines, meeting their project deadlines for the end of 2011.

The 10 turbines on Spruce Mountain in Woodstock have been commissioned and are sending power to the grid, Tom Carroll, project coordinator for Patriot Renewables, said.

Gordon Gamble, director of community relations for Record Hill Wind, said all 22 turbines in Roxbury are operational and producing power but not all have been commissioned.

Gamble said they are still testing some of the turbines and the company expects all of the turbines to be commissioned in a week or two.

Record Hill Wind's permits were approved by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in the fall of 2009. Patriot Renewables' permit process was approved by the DEP in the fall of 2010.

Both companies faced appeals from groups that were against wind turbines in Maine, which slowed the construction process.

A group called Concerned Citizens of Roxbury lost its appeal after it went to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Friends of Spruce Mountain went through the same appeal process but finally settled out of court with Patriot Renewables.

Record Hill is a 50.6 megawatt wind project and Patriot Renewables' project in Woodstock is 20 megawatts.

Both Carroll and Gamble said they have heard few complaints from citizens about noise level or flicker effect, which was a heated issue for many in the area.

The companies also recently held open houses allowing the public to tour the wind projects.

Carroll said he believed that there was a lot of misinformation about wind projects and allowing citizens to see it for themselves helped to calm fears and even turned some opponents into wind power proponents.

Record Hill Wind representatives said that for now, the Roxbury project is the only wind farm that they will be building in the area.

Patriot Renewables, however, has three other projects planned for the Oxford County towns of Dixfield, Carthage and Canton.

Currently the Carthage project has permits approved through the DEP, but earlier this month Friends of Maine Mountains filed an appeal citing several issues, including the preservation of Mount Blue State Park.

Andy Novey, project developer for Patriot Renewables, said the company has filed permits with DEP for Canton and is waiting for them to be approved.

The project, which the company hopes will be constructed in the summer of 2013, is planned for Canton Mountain and seeks seven turbines.

The Dixfield project, which is planned for Colonel Holman Mountain, calls for 13 turbines.

Carroll said the company is moving forward and has plans to conduct required wildlife studies in the spring.

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Comments

 's picture

No!

No, Ms. Cox.. these projects did NOT go online without a sound! Residents in both regions have been fighting these wind developments for years.

You do your readers a disservice by reporting only one (biased) side of this story. I urge you to contact locals in Roxbury and Woodstock for their true impressions. There is far more to this story than meets the eye.

Karen Pease
Lexington Twp., Maine

 's picture

Always noise problems

In every community where industrial wind turbines have gone in where people live, there have been substantial noise problems: Mars Hill, 18 people sued First Wind, which continues to violate its noise levels in its licence even after having it increased by 5 dBA; Freedom and Vinalhaven where people have been made ill by the effects of low frequency sound as well as annoyed by the audible noise and people have moved away.

Now in the Lincoln Lakes area which just started up in late summer of last year. When I saw the computer models of the noise impact zone of the Rollins project, I immediately concluded that people on the Lee Rd and Half Township Rd in Lincoln, North Rd and Lincoln Rd in Lee and people on Madagascal Pond in Burlington were going to be impacted. Not so, said the slick First Wind people, assuring us in their application that was rubber stamped by DEP that the computer models were created so conservatively that they had to be accurate. Well, you know what? Local people are smarter than the computer models. We now have noise complaints from all those Lincoln Lakes region locations. It is inevitable that people in Woodstock and Roxbury and Byron are going to report all the same symptoms from wind turbine noise as the other communities.

What kind of community says that some residents are expendable, that they have no rights to peace, quietude, and good health because the wind developer wants to come to town? Remember, most people live out where these turbines go in because they seek non-industrialized vistas, because they enjoy wildlife, and they appreciate ambient background noise of 15 dBA rather than 45 dBA in the night time. What's the difference in these measures of audible noise? Whether one uses the Loudness Multiplier Theory (Stevens) that says an increase of 10 dBA is a doubling of noise, or the more recently developed Amplitude Multiplier Theory (Warren) that says an increase of 6 dBA is a doubling of noise, the fact is, 30 dBA difference between ambient night time background noise and the typical night time allowable maximum for the wind power project is a large increase.

 's picture

Reminds Me of Lincoln Lakes

Viewing the video reminds me of the ruination of Rollins Mt. and the ridges of Rocky Dundee by First Wind. See photos here: https://picasaweb.google.com/101554457531034815464/RollinsWindProjectMay... More than 700 year round and seasonal waterfront homeowners have had their slice of paradise ruined and nobody can find a buyer for the properties as their value plunges. People go to places like the 13 Lincoln Lakes, Roxbury Pond, Concord Pond, and Shagg Pond is get away, to have views of mountains, not blasted away ridgelines with 40 story tall turbines, with their red aviation lights flashing. What are we doing to our beautiful state when we sacrifice our natural resources to the folly of an industry that wouldn't exist except for government subsidies misplaced "green" zealousness.

 's picture

on second viewing

I disticntly hear a squealing in one of these shots of the turbines. oh oh .....bearings????
Then reporter shoots a shot of road signs in Roxbury. Not a single shot of the SCENIC HIGHWAY sign as you drive up route 17 into the turbine area, on your way to the revered "Height of the Land" just before you get to Rangeley.
Nice shot of Roxbury Lake and what camp owners now see. I wish the resolution was better in the camera so we could really see what these property owners hear and see now, with not a thing they could do about it....as they have no vote.

 's picture

I can have empathy for a

I can have empathy for a reporter just trying to cover a story when good solid information is impossible to uncover. As Brad said, the developer isn't about to come forward with information that would jeopardize their venture. The town managers and Select Boards, struggling to meet budgets won't look any further than the money and how to use it.
The complexity of this new found industry is daunting, but the easy path to immense riches isn't going overlooked by the developer. What they don't have to do by toil and sweat to get a business off the ground, they make up with political persuasion and gullibility. And with the vast amount of money at their disposal, they are rich in political persuasion.

 's picture

Problems with this One-sided Story

I have a lot of problems with the way this article was written and/or edited. Just a few examples:
“Record Hill is a 50.6 megawatt wind project and Patriot Renewables' project in Woodstock is 20 megawatts.” No reference that this is the nameplate capacity of the turbines and that actual output, or capacity factor, will be substantially less. The Kibby project, also in Maine’s western mountains, has been on line for two years and has yet to produce more than the low 20%. Shouldn’t a reporter be asking about the waste of taxpayers’ money for a fickle trickle of electricity? What makes anyone believe these mountains will produce any more than Kibby up on the Canadian border?

“Carroll said he believed that there was a lot of misinformation about wind projects”. Well, now, isn’t that just a classic case of the “pot calling the kettle black”. There is no more greater purveyors of misinformation, hidden information (such as never revealing the real data gathered at those Met Towers, hiding behind the proprietary information gambit!), manipulation, and outright lies than the wind industry. There is an onerous concept involved with the process in which anything the wind industry puts in an application is considered Gospel, only their “experts” are believed, and the citizens are treated like ignoramuses. Maybe the writer should have delved into that.

“Both companies faced appeals from groups that were against wind turbines in Maine, which slowed the construction process.” This is written as a sympathy statement to the poor wind company that had construction slowed. No mention of what the issues are involved in opposing these two projects. There are a plethora of negative issues and impacts involved with industrial wind sites. Until these are adequately covered by the Maine media, too many Mainers will not realize what a destructive scam is being perpetrated on our beautiful state. When the critical mass of 40 story turbines surrounding everyone is reached and people realize what has happened for the benefit of only the greedy subsidy reaping wind developers, it will be too late.

Gary Steinberg's picture

The lies FROM the wind Companies ...see the facts of the farce!

Kibby I and II facts:
The above 132 MW wind turbine facility, capital cost $330 million, is owned by TransCanada and was built, after a lot of destruction, on one of the most beautiful ridge lines in Maine. TransCanada and Vestas the claimed that the capacity factor would be 0.32, or greater. It was placed in service on 10/31/2009.

Its FERC designation is Trans Canadian Wind Development, Inc. in case you want to look up the below data.

In 2009 and 2010, the facility had a lot of startup problems and its energy production was negligible.
In 2011, it had a capacity factor of 22.5% for the first 9 months.
For the 3rd quarter of 2011, it was 14.42%. Monthly capacity factors were as follows:
July 18.48%
Aug 12.31%
Sept 12.41%

Why are the CFs so low?

Winds on ridge lines have highly-irregular velocities AND directions. This does not show up when one does wind velocity testing for feasibility, but when rotors are 373 feet in diameter, one part of a rotor will likely see a different wind velocity AND direction from another part. This leads to highly inefficient energy production and CFs. Wind vendors are very familiar with this, but do not mention it. However, all is explained in this article. I recommend the VT-DPS and House Environment and Energy Committee, and all others, finally read this article, before "leading" Vermont into an expensive energy la-la-land.
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/61309/lowell-mountain-wind-tu...

The Bolton Valley Ski Resort wind turbine CF also does not live up to claims.
http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/53258/examples-wind-power-learn

The New York State wind turbine CFs also do not live to claims. The Vendor promises were for capacity factors of 30% to 35%, before installation.
http://www.dailyenergyreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/NY_CF2008-20...

The reality, after installation:

Installed capacity, MW: 1035.5 in 2008; 1,274 in 2009: 1,274 in 2009; 1,348 in 2010
Production, MWh: 1,282,325 in 2008; 2,108,500 in 2009, 2,532,800 in 2010
Capacity factors: 14.1% in 2008; 18.9% in 2009; 22.7% in 2010

The data for the table was obtained from the 2011 New York ISO Gold Book
http://www.nyiso.com/public/webdocs/services/planning/planning_data_refe...

Because no wind turbines were added during 2010, the 22.7% capacity factor of 2010 is the best proof of the lack of performance of the New York State wind turbine facilities.

This reality is not unique to Maine, Bolton Valley and NY State. It has replicated itself in The Netherlands, Denmark, England, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, etc. The production is invariably less than promised. Add this to the fact that the CO2 emissions reduction is much less than claimed, as shown in below articles, makes further investments in wind energy an extremely dubious and expensive
proposition.

http://theenergycollective.com/willem-post/64492/wind-energy-reduces-co2...
http://www.clepair.net/IerlandUdo.html
http://docs.wind-watch.org/BENTEK-How-Less-Became-More.pdf
http://www.clepair.net/windSchiphol.html
http://www.clepair.net/Udo-okt-e.html

 's picture

Commissioned?

What does it mean when they say some have been commissioned and other are waiting?
What is involved to have them commissioned?

Erin,
You state in the first paragraph that the "projects were able to go online without making a sound this month ". Maybe in your mind there was no sound, but some people fought hard to prevent these projects from coming to fruition and as always the media is showing one side of the story. I would challenge you and your Sun-Journal staff to do a story on the other side of this and talk to the people who fought hard and tirelessly.
The only things these projects accomplish is to line the pockets of former governor King and his honchos. I will await your followup article.

 's picture

Commissioning Defined

Commissioning, Operation and Maintenance

Once construction is completed, commissioning will begin. The definition of ‘commissioning’ is not standardised, but generally covers all activities after all components of the wind turbine are installed. Commissioning of an individual turbine can take little more than two days with experienced staff.

Commissioning tests will usually involve standard electrical tests for the electrical infrastructure as well as the turbine, and inspection of routine civil engineering quality records. Careful testing at this stage is vital if a good quality wind farm is to be delivered and maintained.

 's picture

Enough Already!!!

24+ People have no recourse! That was/is a very FALSE statement. The Record Hill Wind Project in Roxbury has been in the works for the past 4 years, since 2007!

RHW began in 2007 as a partnership between Independence Wind and Wagner Forest Management. Over the next two years RHW held at least 27 public meetings to ensure that the residents of Oxford County were well informed about the project. Two town-wide votes affirmed local support for the project. The Department of Environmental Protection of the State of Maine granted approval to RHW to begin project construction in August 2009. The project's primary phase of construction will began in the spring 2011, with turbine delivery occurring in late summer. RHW expects the wind farm to begin producing green energy by the end of 2011.

27 Public Meetings and Two Town-Wide Votes!

It is more than fair to say that if there was even ONE Receptor that was not aware of this project, they surely must have their HEADS Stuck in the Sand since 2007!

I wonder if you individuals would have fought against the first railroad in 1826, this too was subsidized by the Federal Government. In addition, they employed the slave labor of African-Americans and Chinese Immigrants. The progress of the Rail Road drove Indian Nations off their land imprisoning them Government monitored reservations.

Look, I am not saying I am pro or anti wind, but I do realize that our world, country and our state has changed dramatically over the past 200 years and in most instances not for the better. I am not excited about all this change and by the way I think every cell phone tower in the state of Maine are the ugliest things I have ever seen! How many of us have cell phones, wireless Internet etc. Well if those ugly towers weren’t up on our hill tops & mountain sides we would have no service and wouldn’t that make us all very unhappy.

It should be up to towns to have the voice regarding placement of Industrial Wind. That is why they have Town Votes regarding Moratoriums. Citizens need to pull up their boot straps and cowboy up. Let your voice be heard. Get involved, if you don’t want wind in your back yard then do something about it don’t sit on the sidelines with your heads in the sand and then complain about it! Get off your butts and write an Industrial Wind Energy Facility Ordinance.

The Wind developers may still come to your town but they will have to follow the strict guidelines set forth in an Ordinance. If developers come in and develop wind energy within the parameters of an Ordinance then it just may result in a town’s economic opportunity.

Edward Bulger's picture

It should have been up to the tax payers

Most of the tax payers in Roxbury are against the Industrial Wind Turbines. They are the camp owners that have properties closest to the wind farm. They pay most of Roxbury’s taxes and had no vote. Most of Roxbury’s voters live away from the pond and are not where they will see these eye sores that we all know are the most intrusive least effective way of generating electricity.

 's picture

24 people have no recourse

yep, talking about Saddleback Ridge , Carthage, Maine.
Receptors will hear and see these GRID scale WIND machines quite plainly.
Carthage moratorium vote was 42 /48, a 6 person difference.
The town meet was moderated by a long time Carthonian, Hershal Noyes, he repeatedly injected his own opinions over and over, the First selectman withheld information until the vote was taken to tell the town's people they did not own the land where Patriot renewables wanted 6 more turbines.
The meet is on tape and should be classified as a comedy.
But this is not funny.
Town of Carthage lawyer has deemed a new petition for another moratorium vote is "redundant".
Huh? people cannot petition again? Everything is so lined up for WIND; lawyers, money and paid testimonies at hearings.
Repeat; 24 property owners have no recourse. We will watch our homes become valueless.

WIND has a strong force on their side. GREED GREED

Hart Daley's picture

Not Apples to Apples

Look, I am not saying I am pro or anti wind, but I do realize that our world, country and our state has changed dramatically over the past 200 years and in most instances not for the better. I am not excited about all this change and by the way I think every cell phone tower in the state of Maine are the ugliest things I have ever seen! How many of us have cell phones, wireless Internet etc. Well if those ugly towers weren’t up on our hill tops & mountain sides we would have no service and wouldn’t that make us all very unhappy.

Interesting comment: At least the cell phone towers are providing a service and benefit to the citizens of Maine. Can you say the same for the industrial wind towers??

 's picture

Patriot Renewables is

Patriot Renewables is planning to build another series of industrial power plants on Saddleback Mountain in Carthage. I live in Carthage. The first inkling I had that this was going to be happening was while driving to work one morning. I heard on the radio that Carthage was going to be the site of the largest "wind farm" in the state of Maine. Everything had been done on the sly years before we were aware. Most of the residents, excluding the landowners and seletmen, hadn't a clue what was happening, and when we found out we were told there was nothing we could do about it. Of course we didn't stick our heads in the sand, we fought like heck. We got town meetings and even brought the moratorium issue to a vote. This turned out to be an illegal vote, held in a place without handicap access and when the building dropped from the weight of all the people in the room, several people exited the building immediately before the vote was taken. I've never been quite so educated and quite so disgusted as I have been by these wind developers and by some of these small town selectmen. Public HEARINGS must be mandated for every wind project to keep the process legal. Testimony means nothing unless it's under oath. A moratorium on all wind projects in Maine should be enacted until these developers can PROVE their claims, something they have never been required to do. It's time we demanded facts. With all due respect, two, three, four or a hundred "wrongs" taken from our past do not make industrial wind "right" for Maine's future.

 's picture

Citizens must get involved

Kathy, I'm not sure, but I think Alice Barnett's remarks about the 24 receptors had to do with the Saddleback Ridge/Carthage project and not Roxbury. As someone who has been involved in a number of disputes over these projects, I can attest to the tactics used by the developers that do, indeed, include outright lies and manipulations. The Expedited Wind Permitting statute has created a hugely "unlevel" playing field regarding the favoritism and advantages given to the wind developers compared to the constraints placed on the citizens of this state. It essentially creates a "rubber stamp" by DEP & LURC whenever there is an application to destroy our mountains for the folly of useless sprawling industrial wind sites.

So, the last two paragraphs of your comment are right on target. The only way to stymie the onslaught of destructive industrial wind sites is for local towns to develop an ordinance that is appropriate to their location and to protect all of their residents, something the "model ordinance" from the state fails to do. I am glad Sumner is working on one, as it is bad enough to have the Spruce Mt. project on the border with Sumner. Shagg Pond, Bald Mt. and Speckled Mt., three places dear to me, will never be the same with 10 huge turbines intruding.

Woodstock made an impression

Woodstock has followed the same path as Mars Hill. No public vote, no ordinance for wind turbines, and no DEP rules to control the developments. Will it also follow Mars Hill in the civil suit over the family's that were pushed into a corner with no other way to retrieve the quality of life that was destroyed by the Mars Hill wind project? If, the towns do not have an ordinance in place, then the industry, who has connections to the wood lots on these mountains, will buy their way into towns all across Maine. I would suggest that you contact Robert Rand and read his latest study on the unheard sound, vibrations, these monster machines on pedestals emit. No one seems concerned about the people who are and will be affected in the future from these projects. I have seen the towns people divided in Woodstock and the additude, "if it's not in my back yard I don't care" or " accept it for the betterment of the town". Very sad when world wide, people who have been subjected to the closeness of these projects and the sound are being affected. the wind industry has no scientific proof that the sound doesn't hurt or cause medical conditions that cause afflictions on the people exposed, yet, the there is scientific proof that industrial wind turbines cause medical conditions that can lead to serious health problems. Just Remember, wind may be free, but not the projects and like other federally funded programs, the money will end. No money, no more wind projects.
I challenge Erin Cox to call me and get my side of the story. If, she is an impartial reporter, than I would be glad to have her here the "OTHER SIDE OF THE STORY".
Just to remind the public, Woodstock's actions have shown the people of Maine, the importance of having a moratorium, creating a wind turbine ordinance, full study of the industry, and letting the people of the town vote, yea or nay. The leaders of Woodstock never gave a vote to the people and did not educate themselves on the industry. Thank-you to the other towns who are being responsible and following the American Way rather then the "Power's to Be in control" deciding for the people. Don't stay ignorant to the dangers of this industry and when the industry comes knocking on your door, make them prove their words and document the process. I do not see the little money that has been spread in Woodstock paying for the loss of the quality of life from this wind project. Think long and hard about industrial wind power, and if personal models of wind turbines can't sustain one house with electric, then how can industrial wind projects sustain the whole United States? Erin I would love to have a one on one. You really should inform yourself on the Rest of the story. Please, call me.

 's picture

Another "Puff Piece" for the Wind Industry

This article is yet another example of the total complicity of the Maine media in the propaganda campaign of the wind industry. Where is the objectivity? Where were the phone calls to people who are actually being affected by these projects? Where were the phone calls to the critics of theses projects? If this reporter was covering any event the citizens against wind power were sponsoring, the reporter would bend over backwards to get the wind developer's perspective---every time.

When will the Maine media ever take a good hard look at the fallacy of wind power, it's long list of negative issues, and the tremendpous toll the proliferation of sprawling industrial wind projects are taking on Maine's natural resources and quality of place? It is a sad day to know that these rip offs of taxpayer subsidies are actually going on line, having destroyed Spruce Mt., Record Hill, Partridge Peak, and Flathead Mt.

 's picture

Although this report has some

Although this report has some factual errors in it, it gets to the developer's point of view enabling them, yet again, advantage over the unheard and unreported voices of the people. There are concerns with these projects and, in time, they will be heard. The town managers/select boards of Roxbury and Woodstock have to change the " stack the deck" procedures that make it difficult for their citizens to voice their concerns. With both of these projects having impacts beyond the host community borders, concerns of citizens from other towns should also have a voice.
Several towns in the River Valley are patiently awaiting resulting public input as these projects go into operation. Dixfield, Peru, Sumner, Weld and Paris are proceeding with wind ordinances. Citizens,Town Managers, Select Boards and newspaper reporters have the responsibility inherent with their duties to give voice to others besides the developers.

 's picture

HOW DO YOU KNOW?

Dixfield project has over 300 property owners with-in 2 miles of the turbine area.

How many are concerned about their back yard?

Dixfield is a case such as Carthage where the people living with-in sight of these turbines are far out numbered by the villagers.

Only a town vote can make a difference. Voters voting on things they are ill informed about. Such as TIFs, such as accelerated depreciation.
Such as conservation.
It makes no sense to destroy our mountains for Boston people to make money.

Please Mainers, read between the lines of the media.

 's picture

shove it down our throats

DEP has 2000 feet as the contact line of abutting properties. In reality, sound modeling has 35 dbc at 2 mile range.

Receptors are located in Flicker and Sound modeling maps. Yet not a one was notified of their property being on a "Receptor" list.
The above Map has 34 "receptor" structures. 24 of the 34 "receptors" are very much against this project.
These 24 + people have no recourse

 's picture

disagree

how can you disagree to the truth..? DEP, Mark Margerum, received written statements from 24 "receptors" stating they were not informed of the GRID scale WIND project and it's impacts.

Selectmen make deals and then still not tell the landowners with-in 2 miles of these projects what is happening.

Media is one sided....they believe these lies.

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