“What does Ocean Energy and Wind Power mean for Maine’s Fishermen?” was title of a seminar at the Fishermen’s Forum in Rockport Maine on Saturday March 6, 2010. The discussion included a review of the UM R&D wind site off Monhegan by scientist Neal Pettigrew, a description of the new bill LD 1810 that would open up all of Maine’s territorial sea to windfarm leasing and much more. Here as mp3s is everything that each speaker said at the seminar, in the order they spoke. The Q&A session was brief and I may post it shortly. Read my opinions/observations below the list of speakers’s links if you choose.
Introduction Dierdre Gilbert Maine DMR 2min
Beth Nagusky, MDEP Office of Innovation 13 min
George Lapointe, Department of Marine Resources 5 minutes
Des Fitzgerald, Principle Power 10 Minutes
Peter Hughes, Fishermen’s Energy, New Jersey 12 minutes
Neal Pettigrew, University of Maine on Monhegan R&D site 11 minutes
Addison Ames, Vinalhaven Electric Coop 10 min
Rob Snyder, Island Institute 10 minutes
My biased observations: A roomful of fishermen listened silent but very attentive, as the speakers made their pitches for leasing off Maine’s state waters to the power industry. No questions till all the speakers were done. One unusual thingw as that NOBODY got any applause. Not the govt officials of MDEP or DMR. Not the University of Maine scientist, not the Vinalhaven electric coop official, nor the “Fisherman Wind” guy from New Jersey or the Island Instituter. Just stunned silence, as a succession of maps rolled across the screen showing plans for windfarms the size of Delaware stretching offshore and onshore.
The Q and A was cut short – notably the panel declined to answer repeated requests for an approximate number of windmills they were planning to install in Maine waters. to reach the megawatts the state as set as goals. The industry people talked very happily in describing the kilowatts and megawatts of energy they could pull from Maine state waters ocean winds, but grew vague when asked to come up with a number of poles that would be placed in those waters. But none of the government officials or wind industry people would offer up even a guess.
One suspects that the public hearing on LD 1810 on March 11th in front of the Energy and Utility Committee will be well attended!
These words, of course are my observations and opinions and may have little to do with reality as others perceive it…