Wind power

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press file

Maine fishermen say that Gov. Janet Mills’ plan for a state-led offshore wind project is being rushed. And now news that a developer is considering a new commercial-scale wind project off the coast is adding to their fears.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP File

A new task force will convene for the first time Thursday to consider how and where to lease potentially vast swathes of the Gulf of Maine to offshore wind-energy developers. The outcome could have big consequences for Maine's fishing industry, and for the state's role in the next wave of renewable energy development.

Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has signed an executive order terminating both the Maine Wind Power Advisory Commission and a moratorium on new wind projects.

Jim Mone / AP Photo

Solar power faces some financial headwinds these days, but the industry is moving forward in Maine. 

Michael Dwyer / Associated Press

A subsidiary of Central Maine Power's (CMP) parent company won the right Wednesday to negotiate a contract for what will be the nation's largest offshore wind project, off the Massachusetts coast.

Governor LePage is behind a bill to gut most of the state's fast-track permitting process for commercial wind power projects.

The Portland Press Herald reports the governor's bill is part of his recent efforts against Maine's wind power industry.

LePage recently announced a moratorium on new wind permits in Maine and created a commission that would study the economic impact of wind turbines on western Maine mountains, coastal areas and along migratory bird pathways.

Maine Public

A regional environmental group is suing Gov. Paul LePage over a moratorium on wind power development he imposed last week.

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is asking a Cumberland County superior court to strike down the moratorium on Constitutional grounds.

"He's totally usurped the legislative process here," says Sean Mahoney, CLF's director for the state. Mahoney says that by suspending the state's existing framework for wind development, LePage is violating the principle of separation of powers.

Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage asserted that the deliberations of his new wind energy commission will not be exempt from Maine's public meeting law, even though the executive order he signed Jan. 24 states that it is.

During the Maine Public call-in program Maine Calling, LePage characterized reports that the special commission’s meetings will be shielded from the press and public are "fake news."

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's attorney general is pushing back on Republican Gov. Paul LePage's announcements of a moratorium on new wind power projects and creation of a secretive commission to study the impact of wind turbines on tourism.
Janet Mills, a Democrat, said Monday that the governor's executive order does not change existing law.
She said her office will advise agencies on what to do if a company does request a permit.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Gov. Paul LePage says he will put an open-ended moratorium on state permits for wind energy development in Maine. In an executive order Tuesday afternoon, LePage cites the importance of scenic vistas to Maine's $6 billion tourism economy. Wind advocates say he doesn't have the authority, and that he appears to be trying to derail Maine wind developers' bids for a big renewable energy contract that Massachusetts is due to announce Thursday.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Several hundred Midcoast Maine residents have signed a petition opposing the planned Maine Aqua Ventus wind power project off Monhegan Island.

Regional energy interests are making a move to break up an electricity logjam that has stalled wind power development in Maine.

Over the last decade, Maine wind developers have built new turbines at a rapid clip, bringing overall capacity to more than 900 megawatts by last December. Maine now produces some 60 percent of the wind energy in New England — enough to power more than 150,000 homes, and developers want to build more turbines in northern and western Maine.

Townships and plantations in Maine have until June to opt out of being an “expedited permitting area” for wind development. Already there are nearly two dozen petitions that have been received by the Land Use Planning Commission.

AUGUSTA, Maine_ A number of new laws took effect January 1. One was the so-called "snack tax" which  makes certain non-essential food items subject to a 5.5% sales tax. As of Friday, items such as chocolate chips, ice cream, marshmallows, granola bars, snack mixes, and certain prepared foods are taxable.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Seven years ago, the Maine Legislature expedited the development of wind power in Maine's unorganized territories, a process overseen by the Land Use Planning Commission.