By Executive Order signed May 8, 2007, Maine Governor John Baldacci established a Wind Power Task Force whose objectives include making Maine a leader in wind power development; protecting Maine's quality of place and natural resources; and, maximizing the tangible benefits Maine people receive from wind power development. The Task Force was charged with the following responsibilities:
- Examine the regulatory processes, review criteria, and financing options currently applicable to wind power projects proposed in Maine;
- Identify potential barriers to wind power development in Maine; and
- Recommend changes to state policies, regulatory requirements, and financial incentives to facilitate siting wind power projects in Maine in a manner that generates the benefits of this indigenous, renewable energy resource for Maine people without undue adverse effects on other natural resources values and uses.
The Task Force met from July 2007 until January 2008. The Final report was issued in February 2008 with the following findings and recommendations (adapted from the NRCM Wind Power Task Force Summary (PDF 119 KB) Download Adobe Reader):
- Maine should seek to host at least 2000 MW of installed wind power capacity by 2015, and at least 3,000 MW by 2020;
- Expedited Permitting areas were identified where streamlined permitted procedures should apply to promote the development of wind power. Approximately one-third of Land Use Regulation Commission jurisdiction is proposed to be included in the Expedited Permitting Areas, and about two-thirds (approximately 14 million acres) of the entire state;
- The two regulatory approaches between Department of Environmental Protection and Land Use Regulation Commission needs to be made consistent for wind power projects;
- The Land Use Regulation Commission should adopt Department of Environmental Protection's standards for the review of bird and bat impacts, noise, shadow flicker, and impacts on scenic resources of state and national significance. Additionally, the Task Force has endorsed guidelines for assessing potential related impacts on birds, bat, etc;
- Small- and community-scale wind power projects should be facilitated through development of a model municipal ordinance;
- Offshore wind power projects are economically viable in the near term, but Maine should actively work to understand the potential for offshore projects and be in a position to promote such projects as the technology and economics allow in the future;
- The Office of Energy Independence and Security should track, on an annual basis, the progress toward meeting Maine’s wind power development goals.
This information was last updated on 6/25/2009