I went to the August 2nd meeting of the Camden Energy Committee. The windmill supporters are troubled. Listen to hourlong podcast of meeting here. ...
If it is to be community wind, the residents of Rockport, Hope and Camden must cough up many tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to even get out the starting gate of preliminary feasibility study and public outreach.
Not one of the three towns Camden, Rockport, Hope, have shown any interest in providing that $$$$.
|Ragged Mtn on left, Bald Mtn on right, from Vinalhaven ferry.|
If it's a private wind farm developer, (and such HAVE been contacting Camden officials) then large amounts of public land owned by Camden have to be leased or sold to the private developer as well as more public land denuded for access. Private landowners in Hope will have to be convinced to allow access roads to be run through their land. Else no reasonable access to the proposed site.
And then, who benefits? The investor will have to be content with the much lesser profits accruing to the business from "Community Wind" development. The alternative is a private windfarm, owned by an absentee corporation which will sell extracted windpower to the New England grid, while in addition to some cash, Camdenites get to listen to the throaty howl of windturbines forever in their audio background...
Something the people of the area, who appreciate the value of natural Maine, are highly unlikely to accept.
Here are some excerpts from that hour long meeting:
"We're trying to tap the public will," Committee chair Des Fitzgerald said "to see if there's a way to figure out if people out there are willing to give money toward this early assessment [of ragged mountain for wind energy extraction]. We're trying to figure out that structure that poses that question."
Q: "Is it the will of the Energy committee they want to continue exploring feasibility?" [Of a Ragged Mountain windfarm]
Response 1: "No!"
Response 2. What we (Camden Energy Committee] would really like to do, is we would like make some suggestions for next steps [to the Camden Selectboard] and then stand back and watch it happen. We feel like we've done our job."
The Camden Energy Committee after all has other issues on its plate: It is also looking at a plan for a water turbine in the stream that runs through their downtown. And other energy initiatives.)
Des Fitzgerald: Its got to be formal; either its an RFP and you let the market place respond to it, or put out a press release to the community have an open meeting, let people come and shake it out.