Maine Wind Facts
· Over $900 million in direct investment has been brought to Maine since 2006 as the result of installing over 325 MW
· Per 300 MW installed Maine gains:
o $375 million in construction wages
o A $750 million tax base increase
o An economic ripple effect benefiting the local economies
· As many as 18,000 new jobs could be created by building and installing 3000 MW of onshore and 5000MW of offshore wind energy by 2030. MWII’s mission is to develop Maine’s supply chain to capture many of these jobs in state.
· Wind farm development is an excellent source of local jobs, including jobs involved in construction, maintenance and upkeep. Moreover, because quality wind resources are typically located in remote and economically disadvantaged areas, these jobs are supplied to communities most in need of economic activity
· Many rural areas in the US (as well as areas in Denmark, a leader in wind energy) have noted increases in tourism after installing wind farms. Several surveys of tourists in scenic areas have demonstrated that wind energy would have no negative effect on tourism.
· For more information on wind and the national economy visit AWEA’s frequently asked questions
· Landscape effects related to wind energy installation in Maine are minimal:
o The cleared area around a wind turbine is typically limited to 1.5 to 2 acres
o Wind projects attempt to use as many existing logging loads as possible, but in cases requiring new roads, the maximum impact is limited to 6 acres per mile of widened road (a 50 foot clearing centered on an existing 18, 20 or 24 foot road)
· In all cases there is minimal tree-harvest impact
· Wind generated electricity avoids potential CO2, SO2, and NOX emissions [http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_environment.html#What are the environmental benefits of wind power] that would have been released by energy generation from other sources
· Though some residents have concerns about the aesthetic look of wind farms on the landscape, surveys conducted in communities where wind turbines are installed show that the level of support usually increases after the installation of turbines
· Setback requirements usually adequately mitigate the noise from wind turbines- a half mile setback is usually enough to reduce noise disturbance. The sound emitted from wind turbines is typically 45-60 decibels, less than the background noise in an office or highway traffic. Read more about the sound levels of wind turbines in a detailed study of their sound effects or at BWEA’s facts page
· Wind energy releases zero pollution into the air or water, and doesn’t contribute to global warming. For more on the environmental benefits of wind energy visit AWEA’s website or the Renewable Energy Policy Project
· For every ten thousand birds killed by human activities, less than one bird is killed by a wind turbine. The State of Maine permitting and regulation procedure requires impact studies and continued monitoring to avoid bird deaths.
· For more information on wind energy and wildlife, including bats and birds, read AWEA’s comparison of wind and other energy sources’ effects on wildlife
· 63.3% of electricity in Maine is generated from gas and oil, and 90% of Maine homes are heated by oil
· 100% of this fuel is imported to the state, mostly from other countries
· Wind energy generated in Maine is an important step towards increasing Maine’s energy independence and enhancing national security
· Wind and alternative energy diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, reduce the country’s dependence on foreign fossil fuels, and stabilize electricity costs, and increases the security of our energy supply
· The United States has 6,740 installed MW of wind energy (as of 2005) which generates 17 billion kilowatt hours and can power 1.6 million American households
· The US Department of Energy has a goal of 6% of electricity generation in 2020 from wind sources, which is attainable based on current rates of production and development
· For more wind energy statistics, visit AWEA’s website
· Wave and tidal resources are most likely equivalent to that of current world electrical production.
· Wave energy resources are spatially and temporarily variable; greatest in deep water in the winter.
· The Bay of Fundy, home to Eastport, ME, the Easternmost city in the U.S., contains the highest tidal range in the world. Eastport, ME overlooks Old Sow Whirlpool, the largest tidal whirlpool in the Western Hemisphere.
· Ocean energy systems generating offshore power are connected to the electricity grid or integrated into off-grid or micro grid communities. In order to minimize environmental impacts, ocean energy power plants undergo strict permitting and regulatory processes in order to mitigate conflicts with other ocean based industries and stakeholders.
· Regional development effects of ocean energy investment provide direct economic benefits for the region including local device component manufacturing, installation, operation, and maintenance, in addition to marine manufacturing, engineering, oceanography, power supply and service sectors affected.