When guests visit us in the Downeast Lakes region, they always remark about the outrageously beautiful night sky. We have marveled at the Milky Way, watched many a meteor shower and the northern lights. We even witnessed the Shuttle Atlantis separate from the International Space Station in 2011. All this magic without so much as binoculars!
It's easy to ignore and undervalue the dark sky when you have had it all your life. But considering the pace at which mankind is growing and expanding, the dark night sky and undeveloped natural areas will only become more valuable. Let other states take their natural assets for granted. If Maine can hang on to hers, Maine tourism will be the mainstay of the economy forever!
Mr. Carter is correct on all points. First Wind's tactics include keeping their development plans a secret while they do everything necessary to get the local officials and landowners on board, complete their studies and prepare their applications. Then they spring it on the people who will be harmed.
Case in point: their newly disclosed Molunkus Project. This project will be in Medway and T1R6. That's on Rte 95 just one exit north of Lincoln. It will consist of 65 turbines. The Vestas V117 proposed is 570 feet tall.
This project will be visible from Salmon Stream Lake (one of Maine's "Scenic Resources of State or National Significance"). It boggles the mind why First Wind would select this site given that AAA reports that "Travelers are provided with a vista point that offers a view of Mt. Katahdin, the tallest peak in the state of Maine at 5,267 ft, along Interstate 95 near Salmon Stream Lake."
According to First Wind documents, the Molunkus project application is already being processed and enjoys "community support".
How about it people of Medway, has First Wind even informed you that they plan to desecrate your area with the tallest turbines in New England?
I didn't think so.
So who were the elected representatives who voted NOT to restore this right to the citizens?
There may be little we citizens can do at this point with regard to LD 616, but we can vote the scoundrels out of office.
Equally important, which representatives voted in favor of LD 616? Citizens of Maine should thank them for their morality and courage.
Ms. Pease is absolutely correct. Maine's Wind Energy Act, and especially the process that created it, were (and are) an abomination.
The boundaries of the Expedited Permitting Area were largely determined by the wind developers. The Wind Energy Act also provides them with a very simple way of adding additional hills, mountains and ridgelines to the EPA.
But guess what? If citizens want an area to be REMOVED from that EPA they must go through the full legislative process. That is a very expensive process and forces the public to stand up against Jeremy Payne, MWEA, Reed & Reed, Sargent Corp., First Wind, Conservation Law Foundation and all the cronies like Maine Audubon, Maine Sierra Club, AMC and hundreds of others who have accepted "support money" from the wind developers. As a result, land has been added to the EPA but none has ever been successfully removed from the EPA.
WAKE UP MAINE! These wind projects are not helping YOU. They are destroying Maine's valuable "quality of place" while selling the electricity out of State. They also allow the developers to sell Renewable Energy Credits to polluters in the rust belt who are then allowed to continue polluting the air that Mainers breathe!
WAKE UP MAINE! You're being played for a patsy! The wind industry has discovered you are willing to sell your greatest assets, your tourism base, the air your breathe and your children's future in return for chump change and the air-headed notion that you're being "green".
Oh Please... make it retroactive to the day First Wind came to Maine!
I'm glad that LURC understands the unique value of the Downeast Lakes Region.
1) It is an interconnected network of more than a dozen lakes.
2) Many of those lakes are recognized by the State of Maine for their outstanding scenic value.
3) Most of the land is protected via conservation trusts or easements.
4) Many of these lakes have virtually no camps on them. Those that do, are modestly developed with the camps hidden from view
5) The network of lakes is dotted with primitive campsites, most on islands, that require no reservation and are available free of charge on a first come first served basis.
6) There are numerous traditional Maine Sporting Camps.
7) The region boasts the largest concentration of Maine Guides.
8) There is a strong Tribal presence.
9) The fishing, hunting, wildlife, paddling, camping, hiking, etc are all excellent.
I think the only downside of visiting the Downeast Lakes is that to get there you have to drive past three First Wind grid-scale wind projects.
Thank you, LURC, for following your land use plan instead of some out-of-state wind developer's strategic plan.
The article says "Patriot Renewables LLC of Quincy, Mass., proposes to build eight turbines to produce 22 megawatts of electricity. "
times 2.75MW rating apieces
yields 22MW of NAMEPLATE capacity NOT the amount of electricity produced!
Actual production will likely be about 20% of that, or 4.4MW
which equates to 38.54 Megawatt hours
which is enough to power 3,491average U.S. households
or 6,041 average Maine households
or a town with a population of 3000 (half a town's usage is non-residential).
Thank you and congratulations for sharing this research. This lack of accountability is something Mainers have always known but are nearly powerless to address. The excuse I always hear, from State legislators, to local selectmen, to citizens is:
"Maine has so few people. It's unavoidable that there will be conflicts of interest. When a lesislator who works for an energy consulting firm offers his service to the Energy, Utilities and Technology Subcommitte, are we supposed to say "Thanks, but no thanks, Representative Fitts?" Or when an elected representative leases parking lot in the woods to First Wind, do you expect us to say he can't? After all, his salary as an elected Representative is very low."
Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying “The government you elect is government you deserve.” H.L. Mencken said the same thing, but better: "People deserve the government they get, and they deserve to get it good and hard."
Maine, you need to stop complaining and do something about it! We deserve better!
A landowner has acreage that is legally in Tree Growth, meaning its primary use is the production of forest products.
That landowner leases a portion of that land to a wind developer.
Overnight that portion of his land is generating far more cash than it did as forest.
Yet that landowner is allowed to leave that portion of his land in Tree Growth and not pay normal taxes on it?
How do I get a sweetheart deal like that?
Do you mean that
when First Wind told the residents of Carroll Plt on 02/08/10
that the Bowers project will help with Carroll's high cancer rate,
that they weren't being truthful??????
Oh no! Say it ain't so!