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Thread: N.E. Clean Power Connect in Maine - Should we care ?

  1. #181
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    Yes, thanks for that perspective, PB. I am sure the issues are super-complicated and that is just scratching the service. That is why it is so hard as a voter to make decisions. It's laughable why anyone would listen to sound bites in a political ad. Heck, I bet we'd need a 200 page slide deck to have a chance at understanding how the energy grid fits together and I bet when the dust settles there is still no perfect answer. But unfortunately everyone wants us to make binary decisions.

  2. #182
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    You know it's not that complicated. Energy comes from gas and nuclear.. In the far distant future it may come from fusion. Energy does not come from solar or wind.

    Decide if you want energy, or if you want to freeze in the dark. It's black and white; it really is a binary choice.

  3. #183
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    How energy is produced is simple - agreed. How it is distributed is complicated.

  4. #184
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    With all of this going forward Snow Shoe design and use will most have to be innovative.Not to mention traction.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #185
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    BTW Maine DEP just pulled the permits to construct https://www.wmtw.com/article/maine-d...ermit/38338243

    I agree the grid is complex and the devil is in the details. Years ago when my former company was thinking of connecting a new power plant to the grid we worked with a very private consultant mostly consisting of retired energy exec and regulators. They knew the details and how to work them to their advantage. They did not advertise and if you looked on the early internet they did not leave many fingerprints. They cost a bundle but they saved us a lot of time and hassle. I have no doubt if someone opposed to our project hired them, they would work just as hard to stop us. Of course compared to global warming the grid is simple

  6. #186
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    As the saying goes.......Click image for larger version. 

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    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  7. #187
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCD View Post
    Energy does not come from solar or wind.
    I don't think that I've seen a more incorrect statement of VFTT before. Life does not exist without solar energy. Boats don't sail and blowdowns don't make a bushwhacker's life misery without wind energy.

  8. #188
    Senior Member Puma concolor's Avatar
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    Older but interesting article about the source of much of the objection to the transmission line. Of course, folks want to wrap it up in virtue about being all about protection of natural wildlife habitat Ö but having taken several trips to the Maine/Quebec border area observing the culture of rural Maine, it really not-so-surprisingly came down to hunting ground and snowmobile trails.

    https://www.mainepublic.org/business...nsmission-line

    I know ya all are trying to solve New England power grid issues as well as climate change in general but the focus here is much more basic. Northern Mainers need big gas powered vehicles to get through the winter and arenít too concerned about the energy needs of major New England population centers. So A) they donít want their hunting ground and snowmobile trails screwed with and B) they donít care about renewable energy. So this project was probably destined to fail from the start.

    Interesting how ďthink globally, act locallyĒ has gone the way the way of the dinosaur. Folks are now expected to act in ways that are not in their own best interests in order to support group think anti-climate change positions.

  9. #189
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    I do not agree that this is a primary source of opposition but agree it is one of many. Politics makes strange bed fellows and this is definitely the case on this project. Conservations groups with a major base of support in Mass, (CLF) supported the project as it allowed Mass to meet climate goals and kept new power development out of the Mass. Maine power generators (natural gas CC plants in Veazie and Wesbrook, Nuclear plant in Seabrook) were looking at loss of demand so they opposed it. CMP has pissed off a lot of voters due to a major failure of a new billing system and past decisions that led to poor power reliability, especially in rural areas so to some this was a protest vote against CMP. The prior Maine governor and current Maine governor supported it for the short-term economic boost and longterm support from CMP (CMP is apolitical when if comes to writing checks to politicians to support their wishes). Very similar to NP and the north country of NH, the folks who actually lived and worked in the area who would be most impacted were propped up by both sides to give the illusion that what they wanted actually mattered. There were also business interests and to lesser extent consumer interests that realized that the state was missing out on getting an appropriate level of compensation for the impact to the land and just as importantly the compensation to ratepayers for the use of the existing right of ways that had been purchased with rate payer dollars. Maine has a small but growing local renewable energy business that opposed the project as they felt it threatened local renewable generations projects (mostly solar).

    The only counties that supported the project were outside of CMP territory as well as predominantly conservative republican. They reportedly voted for the project as the passage of the referendum was linked to possible antigun legislation (the link is complicated) and also a general distrust of the "greenies" opposed to the power line.

    Heck no doubt some of the Friends of Bigelow who long ago forced the state to buy the Bigelow Preserve and keep the executive and legislative branch from messing with public lands came out of retirement to oppose the project.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-26-2021 at 05:22 AM.

  10. #190
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    A lot of competing interests for sure. Fundamentally and perhaps simplistically, it just seems that people ultimately vote for what will directly impact them positively or negatively, and having power run through your local area that benefits the ever growing urban and suburban sprawl of MA while not directly benefitting the people of ME didn’t appear to be compelling to Mainers. It’s not hard to blame them. I can imagine the hiking community not reacting well to solar and wind generation being placed all over the mountains we hike. Doubt that would be received well despite what I suspect is a lot of support for green initiatives by the hiking community (there’s always an excuse of “it would be more efficient/better for the energy generation to occur somewhere else”). People like to throw money at politicians who support these causes and like to put down/shame those who are less supportive, but when push comes to shove, they don’t want it directly negatively impacting them. Like wanting electric cars but don’t mine any of the rare earth metals in my back yard. It’s less the substance and more the constant hypocrisy that bothers me.
    Last edited by NHClimber; 11-26-2021 at 06:21 AM.

  11. #191
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    8% of the current New England grid energy input is from renewables. 18% of the renewables comes from wind and <1% comes from solar. Gas is 53% and nuclear is 33% making 86% from gas + nuclear and 8% from wind + solar.

    Source: www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress


    Anecdotally I see Facebook posts from people with solar and it helps them charge their EVs, run their mini split ACs, and net negative meters during peak sunshine (summer) but most do not become independent at night or in the shorter day months.

    Tim
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    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  12. #192
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    75% of the "renewables" are from burning wood and garbage. Hardly eco-friendly. I know, I have a wood stove

  13. #193
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    It’s less the substance and more the constant hypocrisy that bothers me.
    Yes, and that's hypocrisy with a capital H.

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish View Post
    8% of the current New England grid energy input is from renewables. 18% of the renewables comes from wind and <1% comes from solar. Gas is 53% and nuclear is 33% making 86% from gas + nuclear and 8% from wind + solar.

    Source: www.iso-ne.com/isoexpress


    Anecdotally I see Facebook posts from people with solar and it helps them charge their EVs, run their mini split ACs, and net negative meters during peak sunshine (summer) but most do not become independent at night or in the shorter day months.

    Tim
    In fairness, those "current" graphs are real-time on a cloudy day; over the course of a full year, it will look a little different (and it could also look a lot different on a cold winter night). Last I knew, the fuel mix does not include behind-the-meter generation (e.g. net metered solar). Nevertheless, unless there's storage (e.g. a battery) involved, if you're charging an EV at night, you're not charging off solar.

  15. #195
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    If you really want to talk burning wood I will gladly drift over to it. I converted a coal fired generating station to biomass (wood) in North Carolina 15 years ago 9mostly forest residuals and small percentage or scrap railroad ties that formerly were rotting in fields and have spent some time inside several of the regional biomass boilers (Greenville, Old Town, Berlin, Whitefield, Springfield and Alexandria) and on occasion do "tune ups" Be really careful on what source of info you read regarding biomass generation as biomass is far too generic. The New England plants burn forest residuals, mostly tops and branches. No land owner will voluntarily cut a tree for biomass chips, the economics do not make sense. The company harvesting the trees for things like lumber or pulp logs just leave the tops and branches in the woods if there is no low grade biomass market so the carbon is not sequestered. The biomass operations in the news these days are the "Not on my continent" formerly coal fired power stations in England and Europe. These are a different beast, they are sourcing biomass pellets from around the world from very high yield short rotation forests. The pellets in this case are the only product, they are not a byproduct and it takes a fair share of fossil fuel to get it from the SE US to its ultimate destination.

    There was a very flawed study called the Manomet study that was used by the state of Mass to declare biomass power as non renewable. Even the authors admitted that were told what conclusions to come to when they accepted the study. They also admitted that the type of biomass plants they modeled were based on cutting trees to burn instead of forest residuals. Hydro Quebec had been lobbying behind the scenes for years to sell more hydro to Mass and Mass specifically had excluded HQ power previously. By declaring biomass not renewable that created a renewable power vacuum in Mass that conveniently could be filled once the HQ prohibition was conveniently removed from the standards.

    As for heating your house with wood, modern EPA stoves are remarkably clean burning and efficient, they still put out particulate emissions but properly vented they disperse pretty quickly. Unfortunately, many folks burn poorly seasoned partially green wood and that style of burning is quite inefficient to the point where modern stoves just will not burn at all. Unless a wood seller had a kiln its highly likely any wood you buy is only partially seasoned. For most hardwoods it takes two years of proper seasoning and oak my take longer. If you look at life cycle emissions from the source to house, wood heat is generally far lower impact than natural gas or oil. Ideally install a wood boiler with thermal storage and the systems can get very efficient.

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