Monday, October 25, 2010

Roads are no Solution

In what should be obvious to anyone who has looked at traffic problems throughout the country, simply adding more roads does not solve congestion problems. But when the people whose budget is based on road building are making decisions, too often that what happens.

Portland Press Herald:
"Some participants began the study with the idea that suburban congestion could be solved primarily through construction, perhaps with a turnpike spur or by expanding existing roadways, such as routes 22 and 114.

'But to make any road improvements last longer, we're going to have to ask communities to change how they develop,' said Carol Morris, a spokeswoman for the task force.
The study was conducted with $1 million from the Maine Turnpike Authority and the Maine Department of Transportation."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Construction on40-turbine wind project

Bangor Daily News:
"The Lincoln Planning Board approved the project on Dec. 1, 2008, with the other host towns eventually following suit. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s permit for the First Wind subsidiary came in April 2009, but the project, probably the most protested since wind-to-energy companies began investing in Maine, had been in civil court since then.

The Friends of Lincoln Lakes, a citizens group formed to oppose the project, took its series of appeals to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court but lost. Its latest appeal, to the Board of Environmental Protection on Oct. 7, was rejected."

Tidal Energy Tests in Castine

Bangor Daily News:
"TEDEC provides a much-needed component in the emerging tidal energy industry, where there is a need for independent, reliable assessment of prototype turbines, Armstrong said. There are no independent “proving grounds” where designers and developers can test those devices, he said.

With no vested interest or commercial component to its operation, he said, TEDEC can effectively evaluate whether a design works.

“We’ll look at the physics of it, does it survive in a real-life situation outside of the lab,” Armstrong said. “We’re not so much interested in the number of light bulbs it lights up, but we’ll look at whether it behaves as the developer expected and whether it is capable of providing sufficient energy that can be fed to a generating device that produces electricity.”

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Damariscotta Hardware Goes Solar

"Damariscotta Hardware recently had 301 photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the 24,000-square-foot business on Business Route 1. The panels are designed to meet about 70 percent of the store's electricity needs.

The 69-kilowatt system was installed by Maine Energy Performance Solutions of Washington.

The project represents a major step in controlling energy costs for the 55-year-old family business, said Rob Gardiner, the company's president. The store installed a wood gasification boiler last year, cutting heating oil consumption by 90 percent. Electricity stood out as the next biggest energy expense, with a bill exceeding $13,000 in 2008."

- Portland Press Herald