Cohocton Wind Watch: First Wind receives first state PUC contract
Cohocton Wind Watch is a community citizen organization dedicated to preserve the public safety, property values, economic viability, environmental integrity and quality of life in Cohocton, NY and in surrounding townships. Neighbors committed to public service in order to achieve a reasonable vision for a Finger Lakes region worthy of future generations.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

First Wind receives first state PUC contract

Comments added to the below article:

Gov Blagoavich and Illinois corruption cannot hold a candle to Maine. This article goes to all the major news networks today. Here are a few of the , shall I say distortions of truth.

1) There is no room on the New England Grid for Stetson I ..much less Rollins etc. Easily verifiable.

2) Rates will go up at least 8 % to pay for the transmission lines and wind farms. We pay for them.

3)The contract being awarded is not irony-it is ludicrous since the permit is in litigation.

4) First Wind does not even have the money to build . They got a grant to build Stetson II. They are broke.

When will we get the truth from print news and TV in Maine. It seems as if all stories in BDN and TV news are transcribed from wind energy and govt. reps. First Wind gets all antsy and really is self destructive in times like these. When Mass finally changed law so that green energy could be sold at a higher rate. was taken in Prattsburgh NY by emminent domain. .ME and NY are the designated states to supply wind farm energy to Mass. Does this seem insane since they are so far away and power is lost for every mile of transmission lines? It is . Well maybe NY and ME political and legislative bodies were just crooked enough to make it work. Changing law constantly. Bending the law. Lying with impunity. We need the justice dept. to look into this. IF our attoney general wasn't bought off, he / she would be investigating now.

A subsidiary of the state’s largest wind power manufacturer will get Maine’s first long-term electricity supply contract for its proposed 60-megawatt Rollins Mountain project in Penobscot County, officials said Wednesday.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved awarding the 20-year contract to First Wind Holding LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evergreen Wind Power III LLC, on Wednesday, state officials said.

“This is good news for ratepayers and renewable energy development in Maine,” commission Chairwoman Sharon Reishus said in a statement.

“The First Wind contract makes it possible for Maine ratepayers to gain energy supply cost benefits from a renewable energy resource, and the company gets the financial assurance the contract provides to become fully operational,” Reishus added.

The contract is the first long-term deal approved since the state restructured its electric utilities in 2000. The state Legislature gave the commission authority in 2006 to create long-term electric generation contracts in order to bring cost benefits to Maine ratepayers, officials said.

Those contracts were supposed to: lower electricity supply costs for Maine consumers; increase renewable capacity; hedge against market prices of electricity; offset costs resulting from new transmission; and provide a lower cost alternative to new transmission investment.

The commission directed Central Maine Power Co. and Bangor Hydro-Electric Co. to share the contract in an 80-20 split, with CMP securing the larger portion, officials said. The decision will be final with completion of the written order.

One irony of the contract is that a state permit allowing the Rollins Wind project — a proposed 40-turbine, $130 million industrial wind site for the Rollins Mountain ridgelines in Burlington, Lee, Lincoln and Winn — is being appealed in Superior Court by the Friends of Lincoln Lakes, a residents’ group.

Also, the project lacks an investor to pay for its construction. The project therefore has no set construction or start-up date, and might not occur at all if the Friends group wins its appeal, said John Lamontagne, First Wind’s spokesman.

“The contract is triggered by the commissioning of the project,” Lamontagne said Wednesday.

However, the securing of the contract will help First Wind draw investors to the project, he said.

“It allows us to secure project financing because of the certainty of the sale of the power once the project is built,” Lamontagne said.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection issued First Wind of Massachusetts a permit for the Rollins Mountain project in April. Individual towns and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have also issued permits.

Proponents have praised First Wind as a conscientious creator of wind power, saying the Lincoln Lakes project would create as much as 60 megawatts of pollution-free electricity in peak winds.

The Friends group contends that the turbines would lower land values and threaten human and animal health with light flicker and low-decibel sound; disrupt the pastoral nature of Rollins; and typically generate a fraction of their capacity.

The group argued its case to DEP, but the agency largely dismissed the complaints for lack of evidence. Harry Epp, a leading group member, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment on Wednesday night.

It would typically take nine months to a year to build a project like the one proposed for Rollins Mountain, Lamontagne said.


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