The University of Maine and several for-profit corporations are attempting to launch a commercial wind farm off the coast of St. George, ME near Monhegan Island. Current plans call for:

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Two Turbines

  • Height 576 feet - Washington Monument: 555 feet
  • Fishing exclusionary zone 2.5 square miles around the floating platform, 15 miles over the cable and 150 feet on either side of it
  • Contains grease, gearbox fluids and hydraulic oils
 
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Infrastructure Planned for St. George

  • 6 - 7 inches 25 Megawatt capacity subsea cable will connect the offshore turbines to a proposed substation in either Port Clyde or Tenants Harbor, ME
  • Undersea vault at shoreline transition site
  • 700 feet buried cable to a Transformer
  • 80' x 80' operations and maintenance building with15'  buffer zone and service road around it, and security fence.
  • 32.5kV cable on power poles 10 feet higher than standard the entire length of the St.George peninsula up Route 131. 
 

Proposed to be somehow fitted into:

The village of Port Clyde, town of St. George

  • A tiny, 250-year-old historic fishing village
  • Houses very close to power poles on Route 131
  • Large number of full time residents fish for a living
  • Many full time residents rely on tourism for their income
 

Who else is against this project?

What are the impacts?

 
 
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Impacts on Fishing

Local Fishermen Oppose it

Fishing remains the critical livelihood of so many of our neighbors and friends and they do not want this project which threatens the loss of significant fishing grounds off St. George. This project has the potential to decimate fishing in Muscongus Bay and the Gulf of Maine, and therefore we stand with our fishermen to preserve fishing for generations to come.

 
 Glen Libby, Founder of Port Clyde Fresh Catch, a Maine Fisherman’s Cooperative, and author, with Antonia Small, of “Caught,”a John N. Cole award winning book. Photo by Herb Swanson

Glen Libby, Founder of Port Clyde Fresh Catch, a Maine Fisherman’s Cooperative, and author, with Antonia Small, of “Caught,”a John N. Cole award winning book. Photo by Herb Swanson

In their own words

GLEN LIBBY

“I love energy and technology but we still need food and it is very short term thinking to destroy the fishing grounds to generate electricity.”
"Our Port Clyde fishermen…have never seen it this good in our lifetimes. With a continued push to advance conservation measures… this fishery will finally be sustainable…providing food and jobs for many. We must not ruin this opportunity by ruining the fishing grounds.”
"30 to 50 miles off shore is prime ground fish bottom, it is mud bottom and ... they want mud bottom to set the moorings and bury cables…The planners want this bottom for turbines; the fishermen…will have lost a great deal if this bottom is taken for purposes other than food production.”
“Given the unlikely scenario that this is merely a research exercise it is easy for one to extrapolate a wind farm occupying the flounder bottom that my children and grandchildren may want to use to make a living feeding people (fishing), I do not want to see them sold out.”
 
 Randy Cushman has been fishing the waters off Port Clyde, St. George for 35 years. Working with the Nature Conservancy, he’s been key to developing and field testing nets and electronic monitoring systems to assist in the resurgence of ground fishing in the Gulf of Maine.

Randy Cushman has been fishing the waters off Port Clyde, St. George for 35 years. Working with the Nature Conservancy, he’s been key to developing and field testing nets and electronic monitoring systems to assist in the resurgence of ground fishing in the Gulf of Maine.

RANDY CUSHMAN

“With dabs (American plaice), last year I saw as much, if not more than, my father ever did.”
“Putting a test site off Monhegan will hurt the fishermen; putting a commercial wind field out there will kill us.”
 

 
 
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Impacts On Birds and Wildlife:

What will the almost 600 foot high wind turbines set 2.5 miles south of Monhegan do to its heavily visited bird migration? 

 
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The Audubon Society Has serious concerns about this project.

Read their letter to the DOE here:

http://files.constantcontact.com/cb6bf2ee001/82f38743-3c01-4b8f-a834-6e78610b687b.pdf?ver=1490269145000

 
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The American Bird Conservancy opposes this project

Read how wind energy threatens birds and bats:

https://abcbirds.org/wind-energy-threatens-birds/

Read from their letter to the DOE in April, 2017: “The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is writing to express its serious concerns about the experimental deepwater floating offshore wind energy project located near Monhegan Island, Maine. Located within 20 miles of the island--a major stop over habitat for migratory birds--this project has the potential to have significant environmental impact.”


 
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Impacts On Seaside Communities

At a special Bristol Town Meeting on Oct 1, 2014, 90% of residents voted YES to a Shoreline Zoning Ordinance and NO against "allowing placement in their town of high powered transmission cables to connect the grid to the Monhegan wind power test project.”

Why did they say no to Aqua Ventus?

 

Aqua Ventus, UMaine, and the multi-national owners of this project are not trustworthy partners.

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The STory KEEPS CHANGING

This developer approached the Town of St. George with an air of inevitability and an ultimatum: support this project or we will bring the cables ashore on private land and the town will receive no benefit. They've changed their story so many times, it's difficult to trust them. Aqua Ventus hasn't responded to the numerous valid and reasonable objections raised at several public meetings on this project.

Aqua Ventus continues to change the story. In July, 2017, they told the fishermen in St. George there were no current plans for commercial wind farms. A week later, using prepared slides, they told a group in Camden that it was the first phase of commercialization.

This is not a small local experiment. The project will cost $200 million, financed by selling green power to Massachusetts at higher rates we will subsidize for twenty years. That’s 20 years for 5 years of data. AV says the project’s a test, but the only innovation is the floating concrete platforms. Statoil's Peterhead wind farm, known as Hywind, went live off the north-east coast of Scotland. So what do they need to test?  The turbines, cables and other industrial components are in commercial use the world over by the more than 40 partners in the international consortium, including:

Cianbro, Corp - Primary contractor |   Emera Inc - cable contractor |   DCNS (Naval Group) a French/Italian conglomerate

Here’s what’s on their website:

“Successful demonstration of the technology has the potential to lead to a 500 MW-scale project placed in U.S. federal waters.”

 
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Is this a good trade?

Massachusetts gets the power and we get the destruction of our villages and fishing grounds.

 

 
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Makes no sense to land cables in a 250-year-old historic fishing village.

Maine has nearly 3,500 miles of coastline and somehow this developer has decided to land the cable in the heart of St. George. There has been no estimate of the substantial impact this project will have on the culture of the community, local businesses, property values, the environment, health & security, and commercial fishing. This project will have a substantial footprint on St. George, a vibrant community with a deep history and unsurpassed natural beauty prized by world renowned artists.


What are we asking?

On October 17, more than 300 residents urged the Select Board to take all steps necessary to prevent the landing of offshore wind electric cables onto any property owned by the Town of St. George. And to amend the Shoreline Zoning Ordinances to require a strict planning process to bring a 34.5 kV subsea power cable onshore. As of March 31, no amendments have been put in place and Maine Aqua Ventus is still hoping to land the cable in St. George, Tenants Harbor instead of Port Clyde.

On April 3, 2018, 230 voters petitioned the town of St. George to submit for voting as a referendum question the following petition: Please vote in favor.


How can you help?

 

Keep reading and learning about this project

Comprehensive information from Bristol:

https://sites.google.com/site/bristolmatters2014/home

http://www.fomb.me/

Comprehensive information from Monhegan:

http://www.monheganenergy.info

https://protectmonhegan.com/

 

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Write to the Select Board expressing your opposition

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Contact your senators and representatives and ask them to oppose this threat to Maine’s coastal waters and way of life

 

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