March 4, 2014
On Tuesday March 4th, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court vacated the 2012 decision by the Public Utilities Commission that illegally allowed a merger between Canadian utility Emera and Boston wind generation developer First Wind. Coming off a failed IPO, the deal gave First Wind a desperately needed cash infusion that would allow it to expand its development plans in Maine.
Despite the fact that the PUC decision was immediately appealed, First Wind and Emera took a huge risk by announcing they had closed the deal. Details here:
Bangor Daily News:
High court overrules state approval of multimillion-dollar wind energy deal
Portland Press Herald:
Court: Maine wind-power venture shouldn't have been OK'd
The First Wind case now goes back to the PUC, but its future is unclear.
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On Monday, August 5th, DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho signed the denial decision document on the Bowers Mountain Wind Project. On September 4th, First Wind appealed that decision to the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP). The owner of the proposed site, Bowers Mountain LLC also filed an appeal.
Click here to see the DEP decision document.
Click here to access the appeal documents.
BEP Chairman Foley is currently studying the record of the DEP hearing and the appeal documents. Before long he will announce whether the appeal warrants a full hearing or will be handled at one of BEP's regular monthly meetings (public invited but not allowed to participate). Once he makes his decision and the hearing or meeting is scheduled, we will post it here.
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First Wind's business practices change little in six years:
In Rural New York, Windmills Can Bring Whiff of Corruption.
That's the title of a 2008 article that ran in the New York Times. After receiving a flood of complaints about the corrupt tactics First Wind used to steamroll their projects over local opposition, NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo forced First Wind CEO Paul Gaynor to sign a "CODE OF CONDUCT FOR WIND FARM DEVELOPMENT" (see it here). Facing severe penalties if they continued their unethical practices, First Wind completed their Cohocton and Steel Winds projects and ended further development in New York State.
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Looking for a great read?
One of our members is bestselling novelist Mike Bond of Winthrop, Maine and Hawaii. His latest thriller, Saving Paradise, just hit #1 on Amazon ebook sales in several categories.
Saving Paradise is a complex murder mystery about political and corporate greed and corruption. Mike incorporate(s) a lot of the reality of wind turbines and wind energy hype and fantasy into Saving Paradise. The result is a storyline that is both thought-provoking and informative. The story’s twists and turns will keep you guessing the killer’s identity right up until the very end.
What better way to pass these cold evenings than reading an outstanding thriller based in Hawaii? Both Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com recently dropped the ebook price to just $.99. Please spread the word. All author profits go to fighting industrial wind.
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Canoe/Camping Trips through the Downeast Lakes:
Check out the Wilderness Canoe Association forum for a description of a four-day group canoe/camping trip from Grand Lake Stream to Junior, Scraggly, Bottle, Sysladobsis and Pocumcus. And First Wind claims there is no evidence of paddlers or campers on these lakes!
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First Wind's Sheffield VT Project Not Popular with Locals
Noise, health problems and no one will buy their houses! Not only that but First Wind's PR Czar John Lamontagne admits the project is not generating the amount of electricity they originally promised! The project's nameplate capacity is 40MW and First Wind originally promised a capacity factor of 33%. At the end of this video he admits it's only delivering 85 to 90 megawatts (he meant megawatt hours). That's only 24% of capacity. See the video here.
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An Interesting Article:
On November 14, fifty-two Congressmen signed a letter calling for the end of the wind production tax credit (PTC). In the letter addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, these Congressmen state the truth:
“The growth in wind (energy development) is driven not by market demand, but by a combination of state renewable portfolio standards and a tax credit that is now more valuable than the price of the electricity the plants actually generate.”
Read more in this article: Green Energy: The Rotary Dial Phone of the Future
For more interesting articles, click on the In The News tab above.