MAV Project Recieves Additional Funding

It is being announced today that the pilot wind project still slated to test off of Monhegan Island has received additional government funding and is still hoping to move forward.  You can find today's Portland Press Herald article by clicking here.

There has been little news of late regarding the Maine Aqua Ventus wind project.  For instance, the MAV website has not been updated since 2014. There has also been no new posting on the Monhegan Energy facebook site since Nov of 2014. Obviously work continues.

According to the article, there are issues with the three currently funded federal projects.  A decision regarding which projects will advance will be made on May 31, 2016.
 

Maine Aqua Ventus Still Hoping for Funding

We hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer.  It has been quite a while since we've had any news on the Maine Aqua Ventus wind project...until yesterday.  While one might question the assumptions made in the Portland Press Herald piece....I think it important that everyone be aware.  You can find the article by clicking here.

It is certainly our hope that as part of the project plan a more suitable test site is also being sought.

Rep. Mick Devin's Position on the Test Site

Following on our meeting the other night, Rep. Devin has issued the following statement:

Given the overwhelming evidence that burning fossil fuels impact our environment, I fully support the development of alternative energies.  The argument against developing alternatives is they are more expensive and less efficient than fossil fuels.  This reminds me of my grandfather telling me about owning the second automobile ever in my hometown in the early 1920s.  Cars nearly a century ago regularly broke down and, due to the lack of paved roads, often got stuck.  My grandfather told me that horses were more dependable transport when he purchased that car.  However, due to research and development investments in the automobile industry and transportation infrastructure, namely roads and the National Highway System, cars became much much more efficient and are now the primary transportation for much of the country.   Similar investments in alternative energy will enable America and the rest of the world to cut our carbon emissions significantly over the next few decades. 

To create dependable, inexpensive, and safe alternative energies, investments must be made.  Experiments need to be conducted.  We need our scientists and engineers to build prototypes and test them.  The projects, like the one proposed for the offshore wind turbines off Monhegan Island, are good ideas and should be carried out.  Maine has a chance to be a leader in this field.  We have the engineering capacity and expertise in related industries such as boat building and composites. 

However, regarding the wind turbine project off Monhegan, the location is problematic. Monhegan fishermen are limited to the Monhegan Lobster Conservation Zone, so any loss of fishing ground in their zone limits their total access.  The cable which will laid and is a vital part of the test, will impact multiple fisheries and fishermen from several towns including Bristol, Bremen, and Friendship.  Other potential effects include impacts to coastal tourism.  The marine environment is the primary economic driver for Monhegan Island and the towns in the vicinity of Monhegan.  The present test site could result in a loss of jobs and revenue for municipalities. 

As important as this wind turbine project is to Maine, its impact to all marine stakeholders must be considered.   Other, more suitable sites, which will have a smaller impact on fishermen and other coastal business, should be sought.

Elected Officials at WPAC Meeting Tonight, Tue Nov 25 7 PM

Tonight (Tuesday) at 7 PM at the Bristol Town Hall, as part of their meeting, the Wind Power Advisory Committee has invited Rep Mick Devin and Sen Chris Johnson in order to learn more as to their current thinking and position given the recent Bristol town vote.

You may recall that at our FOMB meeting this past Spring, both officials said that they would take a stand based on what the voters wanted.  If you have time, please come tonight to see.

Thanks!

A Strong Win, Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who attended the town meeting last night, and thanks also to all those who were there in spirit that couldn't make it.

In what was said to be the "largest turnout in memory" for a town meeting, our petition received overwhelming support to not allow the cable from the test site to come across the Bay and land in Bristol.

I am grateful for all the hard work that went into getting folks to turn out and let their voices be heard.

Time to celebrate another successful step in our journey.  Hope you can join us Monday at 7 PM for our monthly FOMB Meeting at the New Harbor Methodist Church, where we will do just that.  And we'll talk about what's next....

Thanks again.
 

Do we really need to destroy “life as it should be” to be “open for business”?

We think that is a false trade-off, which is why the Friends of Muscongus Bay has taken the position that the use of the test site off of Monhegan Island is THE issue, not whether wind power is good or bad. (That can be left for another time.)  The question is, is this the BEST place for this test to be performed?
 
And make no mistake -- this is not an academic research program. It is about business.  As Ralph Nader recently wrote, “Unlike academic science, the experiments of corporate science are neither peer-reviewed nor done openly.  And this for-profit science is obviously a lot more connected to corporate political muscle in Washington, DC, than what is produced in the academies.”  Just note the number of documents that have been redacted, and the number of times the answers to questions keep changing.  You can see that this is a commercial enterprise for which the people of Bristol, Monhegan Plantation, and up and down Muscongus Bay are being asked to bear the brunt of the costs.
 
When two of us met this spring with the Director of the Governor’s Energy Office, Patrick Woodcock, we asked how come the test site wasn’t located further down in southern Maine.  His response was to the effect, “What?  Are you kidding?  Near all those rich people?”  I guess it was assumed that the citizens making a life on  a struggling island and the hard working people on the peninsula wouldn’t have the energy to stand up for themselves.
 
When asked about the potential impact of the laying of the cross-bay cable, and the cable itself, on the lobster fishery and the lobster fishermen, we were told, “It is a dying industry anyway.”
 
The special Bristol Town Meeting is on Wednesday, Oct 1 at 7 PM at the Bristol Consolidated School. 
 
Two 576 foot tall turbines with a 15 mile long, 6 to 7 inch wide cable having a potential life span of 20 years, situated 2.5 miles off of Monhegan Island.  Is this really the best place for this commercial research project to be performed? Do we really need to destroy “life as it should be” to be “open for business”?  Please come and vote “NO” on the citizen’s petition.