From The Wall Street Journal:
Wind Farms in Maine Stir a Power Struggle
Some Locals Balk as Developers Look to Fill Energy Demand
By Jon Kamp | Dec. 23, 2013 10:45 p.m. ET
TOWNSHIP 16, Maine—This state’s tree-filled hinterlands, long known for producing forest products and potatoes, are also suited for an export that has churned up debate: wind power.The recent appetite for wind power comes largely from Massachusetts and Connecticut, where laws require rising use of renewable power. The two states combined have 70% of New England’s population but little available open space on land to build wind farms. Developers have turned to Maine, where they say land is expansive and strong winds are more abundant.
Maine already leads the region with more than 400 megawatts of wind power installed, according to the American Wind Energy Association, which said 1 megawatt of wind power can cover about 290 homes. Recently signed long-term contracts with utilities in Massachusetts and Connecticut could more than double that output in the next few years if the projects all come to fruition.
Plenty of locals welcome the development, helped by financial rewards tied to the projects, and the wind industry counted strong Maine support in a recent poll. Governors in Massachusetts and Connecticut said the recent deals will add clean energy to the grid at cost-effective rates.
But the situation has prompted some soul-searching as a number of residents worry more wind turbines will turn the woodsy state into New England’s utility closet. Vocal opponents also question wind power’s environmental merits and say turbines aren’t worth spoiled views or noise.
More at the link.
The article continues to note that it’s somewhat easier, from a legal and regulatory standpoint as well as the availability of suitable land, to build power-generation windmills in the Pine Tree State than in Massachusetts or Connecticut, from which the artificially-forced demand comes. The Bay State has about 100 MW of production capacity from windmills within its borders, but, as we have noted before, many Massachusetts liberals, including the powerful Kennedy family, have been fighting the Cape Wind project for a dozen years now, because they don’t want the project where their poor eyes would be offended by the sight of the windmills.Your Editor’s mother was born in Portland, and her whole family were in Maine for several generations; while I lived in Maine for only about seven months, in 1961-1962, I still appreciate the beauty of my mother’s home state.
But, my appreciation for Maine aside, it is a thoroughly blue state, which is full of people who are all up in arms about antropogenic climate change, and who vote for politicians who support policies which would cost working people some of their hard-earned money for cockamamie schemes to add taxes to fossil fueled electricity production to try to fight global warming, and I have very little sympathy for those same people being opposed to the very windmills that they want to see producing electricity without CO2 emissions, just as long as those windmills are far, far away from their back yards.
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