Wind industry sees ‘political interference’ in Maine PUC’s move to reconsider 2 projects
Portland Press Herald, February 20, 2015
Maine’s reshaped Public Utilities Commission wants to reconsider two proposed wind projects it approved two months ago, a move critics say would damage the integrity of the regulatory process and scare off future renewable-energy investors.
The commission will decide Wednesday if it should reassess whether to grant contracts to two companies that hope to develop wind projects in Hancock and Somerset counties. The three-member panel granted initial approval to the Weaver and Highland Wind projects in December.
The commission says it may be prudent to re-examine the proposals because of changes in the energy market. Wind energy supporters counter that reopening the negotiation process is unfair and possibly an attempt to kill the projects.
“We can’t just undo it because someone doesn’t like it for some reason,” said Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association. “It seems like there is political interference underway.”