Tuesday, May 3, 2011


On December 18, 2009, Highland Wind LLC (HW LLC) filed a permit application with Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) to build a 48 turbine grid-scale wind energy facility in Highland Plantation. Due to the inappropriateness of the site and due to the negative impacts such a development would have to the local ecology and environment, to the nature-based economy, to the health and quality of life of the area residents, and to scenic qualities of the area near the Bigelow Preserve, the Appalachian Trail and the Arnold Trail, Friends of the Highland Mountains (FHM), along with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) and others, requested intervenor status.

Upon analysis of the application, FHM filed a motion to suspend the review process until such time as HW LLC provided the necessary documentation to meet the completeness standards set forth by LURC. On April 7, 2010, LURC ruled in FHM’s favor, and the review of the permit was suspended.

On December 29, 2010, HW LLC submitted a revised permit application for a 39 turbine wind facility, acceding, in part, to the concerns about the project’s impacts to the Appalachian Trail and the Bigelow Preserve. The application was deemed complete and accepted for processing on February 23, 2011, initiating commencement of the expedited review process once more. Again, upon examining the application, FHM determined several areas wherein the applicant had not provided sufficient documentation for a comprehensive review (including complete Title, Right or Interest; make, model and size of turbines proposed for the project; and sufficient proof of financial capacity) and we once again petitioned LURC to suspend the review process. This time, LURC ruled in favor of the applicant, HW LLC. In keeping with the statutes, FHM and the other intervenors submitted documentation and filings by the deadlines set forth.

On April 13th and 20th, 2011, Agency review comments were submitted to LURC. The comments submitted by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) stated unequivocally that Highland “is not an appropriate locality for an intensive wind energy installation such as that currently proposed by Highland Wind Power.”

On April 26, 2011, the 3rd Procedural Order, including a schedule of events and deadlines, was sent to all parties, and intervenors provided witness lists, as well as the issues they would be addressing at the Public and Technical Hearings, to the LURC staff and the applicant, HW LLC.

On May 2, 2011, Angus King, a principal of HW LLC, submitted a letter to LURC withdrawing his application, with “intent to re-file at a later date”, and stated that those government agency review comments “suggested that additional data would be necessary to satisfy agency concerns.”

The IFW did not suggest that additional data would satisfy their concerns. The IFW stated that Highland was “not an appropriate locality”. "Additional data" will not change the fact that Highland’s mountains are an inappropriate site for a grid-scale wind energy development. In fact, the IFW stated that they have “provided technical assistance and consultations to this project since 2007. Despite considerable discussions and previous project modifications, an array of concerns remain unresolved…”

Highland Wind LLC must permanently withdraw their development permit application to build an industrial wind turbine facility in Highland Plantation. The IFW’s report, in conjunction with the many other issues raised by the intervenors, provides ample reason to abandon all plans to develop the mountains of Highland Plantation.

FHM has conformed to all the standards and restrictions set forth in the so-called “Expedited Wind Permitting Law”. The applicant has pressed for an expedited review, as evidenced in letters obtained through the Freedom of Information Act between Rob Gardiner, President of HW LLC, and LURC. Now that the developers have realized that their project, as submitted, was destined for denial, they are gaming the system. HW LLC has had several years in which to study and ascertain the appropriateness of their proposed development, and has ignored all concerns except those which they determined had the greatest ability to hinder the approval of their project. The Agency review comments submitted by the IFW, an unbiased party, corroborate some of the many concerns which FHM has presented as reasons why approval of this project should be denied. By abandoning their plans to industrialize Highland’s mountains, HW LLC has the opportunity to save Maine tax-payers and individual citizens additional expense.

Mr. King and Mr. Gardiner should publicly and permanently cancel all plans to build an industrial wind facility in Highland Plantation.


  1. I couldn't have said it better myself. No one with an ounce of integrity would pursue this project any further. And no State Agency that was really doing its job, would give it further serious consideration!

    The books should be closed on this bad idea.

    You would think two men who used to be in charge of protecting and preserving the State of Maine would have the brains, and the morals, to understand..............


  2. Hi DC.

    Thanks for traveling over to this side of the mountain.

    Who knows? Maybe the gentlemen of Highland Wind LLC will do the right thing. I rarely give up on people. We all make mistakes, and every once in awhile, we admit to them and learn from them.

    Not holding my breath, but not giving up on them, either. :o)

    Stranger things have happened.


  3. Maybe King and Gardiner have a conscience. Rumour has it our first selectman in Carthage isn't sleeping at night. Maybe the guilt of pushing the destruction of our purple mountains majesty is tormenting him. Maybe he's realizing that money isn't everything.

    I posted this once already so if you see it twice now, I'm sorry!!!

  4. Thanks, Penny!

    And if I saw it twice, I'd be doubly delighted. But nope...ya done good!


  5. Hopefully, Angus and Bob have gotten the message that their plans for an industrial wind complex in the rural Highland area are very inappropriate. Actually, industrial wind in rural Maine is neither clean nor green. Maine is not a prairie. The first victims of these so called wind "farms" are the thousands of CO2-absorbing trees that must be permanently eliminated for roads, turbine sites, and power lines to very distant places. Then comes the big blasting for the turbine foundations and the pouring of tons upon tons of concrete. The manufacture of just one ton of concrete releases one ton of CO2 into the atmosphere. The biggest lie of all is that these wind complexes in Maine will help reduce our carbon footprint. Not so. Combine the factors noted above with the fact that natural gas turbines must be kept in spinning mode (and ramped up and down) to compensate for the intermittent wind and you get an excess of CO2 released into the air on a regular basis. "Bunk," say Angus. No. The fairyland tale of wind is bunk. Ask the John Muir Trust of Scotland or any of the knowledgeable folks in Europe who have seen these industrial wind complexes ruin their peat bogs, forests and countrysides. Baldacci and the state legislature made a huge mistake by zoning 2/3rds of the state of Maine "expedited" for industrial development. And, indeed, the 2/3rds of the state so "expedited" is where the wind does not blow very well -- as any map of wind velocity in Maine shows clearly. The name of the game is "boondoggle" -- making some rich at the expense of the many. Tragic for Maine.

  6. Thank you, Marilyn!

    All I can say is... you're RIGHT. The challenge is to educate Mainers (and Americans) to the facts.

    Please stop by again.... that was an excellent posting. (And say 'hi' to Harry)


  7. To Angus and Rob: Karen is speaking very clearly for the majority of Mainers who, once we learn the facts about industrial wind in the Maine mountains say... NO WAY! GO AWAY! It is pure greed-crazed insanity to blast, tear and gouge our fragile mountains and ridgelines. Destroying tens of thousands of carbon sequestering forests, for a lie, is an environmental crime. It is beyond belief that you would gamble with literally destroying the historic, multi-billion dollar visitor-based economy of Maine, which includes our precious mountain communities. It is sickening that you would put your sickening greed before the health of Mainers you have already made sick, depressed and anxious, within their own homes, by the disturbance these monstrous industrial machines inflict. And both of you along with your twisted and greedy supporters are ready and willing to hurt so many more of us, your fellow Mainers. Spare us from your bogus propaganda nonsense about clean, green energy. We now know the facts. Zip up your pants, stop pissing on the Maine mountains and on us Mainers who cherish our natural heritage. Get the hell away from the Highland Mountains. Get the hell away from the beautiful mountains of Maine.

  8. And by the way, the Press Herald publisher just doesn't get it, yet. He still has no clue what he is writing about when he pontificates about industrial wind in Maine's mountains as a pro or anti business issue. Mr. Connor, this is about the free citizens of Maine, so many good people, who have invested lots of effort and time, to educate ourselves and each other about the reality and facts of industrial wind. We are unashamed to say we love and cherish the natural heritage and beauty of this state. Our mountains and forests have been so good to us for generations and we honor them. We respect what has been entrusted to our generation and see its protection as a sacred trust, for ourselves and future Mainers. Many thousands of your fellow Mainers and so many others from away, draw incredible sustenance and spiritual renewal from our pure and majestic mountains. And huge numbers of Mainers make their living thanks to our state's natural beauty. Mr. Connor, it is very pro business to protect our multi-billion dollar visitor based economy. Mr. Connor, it is very patriotic and very American to love and appreciate what we have in Maine and to fight to protect it for all time. Mr. Connor, when will you get this one right?

  9. Thank you, Bob. Well said.


    The most effective thing we can do is continue to educate the public about mountaintop industrial wind. As more people learn that the few paltry benefits are far outweighed by the negative impacts, we'll see a quick shift in policy and an end to this ridiculous and costly scheme.

    Thanks for doing your part, and please don't stop!


  10. vernal pool gone....water gone...life gone...

    you crack the ledges, yu change the water table'

    it will never ever come back.


    Rob and Angus are killing Record Hill right now.

    The latest third party reports claim water bars need creating, cloudy water entering streams.

    They report of cracked ledges allowing seeps to day light. it is over for that water table.

    They are doing it.

    Can FHM help Record Hill at this point?
    What do we do?

  11. Hi hon,

    I'll email you, okay? I do have some ideas, and will email you before too long.

    Please keep hope.