Roxbury wind farm's offer of free electricity to town households starts soon

ROXBURY — Record Hill Wind's commitment to provide free electricity to all town households is nearly under way, company representative Gordon Gamble told town officials Tuesday night.

Gamble said that last month the Maine Public Utilities Commission approved its proposal for Central Maine Power Co. to provide the wind company with the residential information and names of metered households.

He said they also provided a proviso to residents and sent them a letter advising them that should they not want their account information given to Record Hill Wind, they could opt out.

“If somebody did not want their name released to Record Hill Wind, they would submit a form and say, 'I don't want this,'” Gamble said.

Otherwise, it would be assumed that the people want the offer.

“It's for the first 500 kilowatt hours per month of just the supply portion of (electricity) and that's based on the standard offer (the supply rate) that's out there,” he said.

“So whatever the standard offer is, we apply it to the first 500 kilowatt hours — the credits that we're giving to people.

“So it will end up being once they end up working through the system, names and addresses of the people that want the benefit, and then we'll take those and start our quarterly payments,” Gamble said. “This is something that we had promised earlier," he said.

“It's in the permit about our tangible benefits, so we're happy that we can come through with this and that the PUC and CMP have agreed to let us do this,” Gamble said.

After the board meeting, Chairman John Sutton had more news about the wind farm as it pertains to the tax rate.

Selectmen and new Roxbury assessor Rob Stevens of Mexico are trying to work out the wind farm's actual assessment. Until that's completed, town officials are going with a preliminary estimate for the annual town meeting on Monday, March 5.

Sutton said Roxbury's current tax rate is $16.86 per thousand dollars of valuation. But with the wind company now added to the tax rolls, he said that rate will drop to $7.62 per thousand dollars of valuation should town meeting voters OK everything in the warrant as written.

“That's huge,” Sutton said. “That's a direct benefit of the wind project.”

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Jack Kaubris's picture

That is terrible

Let me see if I've got this straight...1st 500 KW hours free and the tax rate drops by more than 50% and you pro-oil/coal people are complaining? Wait, let me guess...not one of you is from the town of Roxbury?

 's picture

If it sounds too good to be

If it sounds too good to be true...

 's picture

Interesting timing...

On the same day Angus King expresses interest in running for Senator Snowe's seat, there is also an article about this 'free' electricity he's offering to the residents (not all tax payers, but voting residents) of Roxbury. It's only the cost of the first 500 kwh, but to some people, that will sound like a windfall. What will it amount to? $20.00 a month?

How unfortunate that due to Angus King's need for upgraded transmissions lines to get his wind power to the New England grid, ALL CMP rate payers must pay more in transmission costs. Every one of us, for years to come....

 's picture

It's also a "huge" jump from

It's also a "huge" jump from $7.62 per thousand to $16.86 per thousand when the machines are shut down and removed in fifteen years. You can hedge yourself against this event by settling upon a mil rate slightly less $16.86 per thousand ( after all, that is what you are used to now). This increased revenue and it is substantial for a 110 million dollar project can be tucked away in a rainy day fund to help the town get through what could become unforeseen circumstances down the road.

 's picture

7.44 cents kwh

http://www.electricityme.com/our_rates/default.aspx

7.44 x 500 kwh = $37.20 a household.
What do you have to fear about account information given to First Wind?

 's picture

tax rate

this year your mil rate drops....what of when the value of turbines is dropped yearly?
When school wants a piece in 2 years? oh my...

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