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Governor LePage: Maine Wind Turbine Runs On ‘A Little Electric Motor That Turns The Blades’

By Ryan Koronowski  

"Governor LePage: Maine Wind Turbine Runs On ‘A Little Electric Motor That Turns The Blades’"

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Maine Governor Paul LePage accused the University of Maine of turning on an electric motor when the wind wasn’t blowing their turbine to fool people into thinking that “wind power works.”

LePage was not joking when he made the comment to the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, as Mike Tipping with the Bangor Daily News reports:

Now, to add insult to injury, The University of Maine, Presque Isle — anybody here been up there to see that damn windmill in the back yard? Guess what, if it’s not blowing wind outside and they have somebody visiting the campus, they have a little electric motor that turns the blades. I’m serious. They have an electric motor so they can show people that wind power works. Unbelievable. And that’s the government that you have here in the state of Maine.

Listen here.

Asked about this curious claim, the University spokesperson’s first response was to literally laugh out loud. There is no motor. The project is actually a success story for the university, and for Maine. This was the first mid-sized turbine installed by a university in the state, has a 600 kilowatt capacity, and has produced 680,000 kwh worth of clean electricity in its first year. That’s $100,000 off the University of Maine at Preque Isle’s utility bill, and 572 tons of CO2 not burnedinto the atmosphere.

While the installation of the turbine had a hiccup or two, you can now track the energy produced by the turbine live here. A system like this had never been designed before, providing transparency and educational opportunities for students. And opportunities to check to see if a mystery electric motor was turning the rotors on a still day. (And no, there is no record of any secret motor activity.)

Maine’s wind potential is something to be celebrated and encouraged, not mocked. In January, the State generated 187 GWh of electricity from its wind energy sector. There are 21 major wind energy projects either installed or under development in Maine, which total 1.4 gigawatts of wind power. 195 turbines are installed and under contract. Offshore projects are being tested off the coast. The wind energy industry in Maine is growing, and is employing more and more workers — 600 during peak construction periods.

Citizens of Maine are taking steps of their own toward a clean energy future. In March, a citizen committee overturned a state decision to deny a 14-turbine project on Passadumkeag Mountain. The Commissioner had denied it because of the visual effect it would have on the area, not for any other environmental reason. Governor LePage couldn’t help but weigh in at the news: “While the initial and largely taxpayer-funded investment in wind power projects may be attractive to some, one-of-a-kind views like the ones from Saponac Pond have great value…. I am deeply disappointed in the Board of Environmental Protection’s decision.”

This is not surprising: In 2011, the new Governor tried and failed to repeal the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

While Governor LePage’s denial of working wind turbines is surprising, he does have a track record of bombastic statements and denying of reality. LePage said in 2010 that he didn’t know if global warming is a myth, and he fell back on denier talking points:

“I just don’t know how severe it is and I’m not sure how much we as human beings contribute to it … scientists are divided on it.”

LePage told unemployed Maine residents to “get off the couch and get a job,” removed a mural about working people just because, called the IRS the “new Gestapo,” and told the NAACP to “kiss my butt.”

He also said “… I am going to be the next Scott Walker in this country. Because I’m challenging the status quo.”

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105 Responses to Governor LePage: Maine Wind Turbine Runs On ‘A Little Electric Motor That Turns The Blades’

  1. Paul Klinkman says:

    Somewhere I’ve heard rumors that certain wind turbines have such motors. Keeping the turbine blades moving at low speed doesn’t cost that much energy, and it keeps the turbine ready to better catch any moderate wind gusts and generate some power.

    The idea that the blades are turning to fool the public doesn’t make sense. I hope this guy is the next Scott Brown, because Brown has dropped out of politics and into the private sector’s golden parachute zone for former kiss-up politicians.

    • Dennis Tomlinson says:

      Paul, regarding those motors in windmills: Is it a matter of friction coefficients, static versus dynamic? And is there a blade pitch regimen employed in order to maintain a (nearly) constant velocity?

      • Mike says:

        Each wind turbine has it’s own weather station that will in turn regulate the pitch of the blades depending on wind speed. Just the slightest breeze can turn the blades. There is no reason to have a motor turn the blades in calm conditions and I have never seen one installed.

        • Greg Specht says:

          There isn’t a motor installed because the generator is a motor. If you simply force a current through a generator you will create a torque thereby turning a motor. Most large turbines need this in order to get started it is a small amount of energy to get it started but it still exists. So what the governor is saying is not technically impossible just highly unlikely. That being said his point that they are not worth it clearly is dis proven with the amount of energy they saved in the year. To read more about it read this article http://barnardonwind.wordpress.com/2013/03/02/parasitic-power-and-wind-turbines-sounds-scary-but-whats-the-real-story/

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            It looks awfully like a person who may not be the sharpest implement in the intellectual cutlery drawer either misconstruing information in order to suit his ideological predilections, or that he is simply being used as a mouthpiece for disinformation by dextrous manipulators. Just thinking of those who are the receptive audience for his blatherings induces acute emotional dyspepsia.

      • Kris Jackson says:

        I can’t speak to this particular turbine, but in the 1980s I saw a design for a turbine that looked like an eggbeater. It had the advantage that it did not have to rotate when the wind changed direction, but the disadvantage that it would not auto-start when the wind started, so it had a small motor to start the blades turning. Still, the governor is talking through his hat. Someone probably “told him this” and he has run with it. This is typical of conservatives: form your opinion, then find “facts” to support it.

        • Scott says:

          This is typical of politicians Kris. Its not limited to conservatives or liberals. Its to politicians advantage to have us think one side or the other is the smart one. The reality is “stupid” is an equal opportunity disease.

    • suzi says:

      I believe some also put power into a rechargeable “battery”; this battery (located in the windmill) then will operate some equipment during times when the wind just can’t be utilized.

    • realbinky says:

      Scott Brown didn’t kiss anyone’s ass. And he said Walker, not Brown.

  2. Robert In New Orleans says:

    I thinking less Scott Walker and more Elmer Fudd.

    • zoom314 says:

      People like Him are counting on gullible people being too ignorant to know if He’s lying or not to get elected to office, He needs to be kicked out asap.

    • GrumpyDave says:

      Eh, sorry, but I was thinking more of Porky Pig.

      • Natalie says:

        Actually, Porky Pig tended to be a solid worker and fairly dependable, or as much as one could expect from a cartoon character. I’m thinking more Daffy Duck, or maybe Screwy Squirrel on a bender.

    • MorinMoss says:

      Please don’t disrespect Elmer Fudd by associating with Walker and Lepage.
      Elmer speaks funny and loves guns but he’s honest.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        Elmer Fudd was my Latin master. He taught me a good deal about Nostradamus, who he studied at Cambridge, my favourite town in England, which has a magnificent Strongylodon macrobotrys in its beautiful Botanic Gardens.

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    And we all know why he’ll get away with this insanity: There’s plenty of people in Maine and every other state in this country who will automatically believe whatever a buffoon like him says simply because they’re in the same political party. As soon as voters start standing up and punishing people like this clown at the polls, they’ll stop this absurd behavior.

    We get the democracy we deserve, and if we’re too busy with the minutiae of life to demand better from politicians, we won’t get it.

    • Omega Centauri says:

      Well..yes. Where is the political cost to such buffonery. Even among Republican laypeople clean energy polls well above 50 percent. So why aren’t they saying enough is enough?

      • Mark Schmidt says:

        He is a college graduate, wears suits, probably can tie his shoes and drive a car…but I somehow feel that is the extent of his intellectual accomplishments…For some reason, I assumed Maine was not so top heavy with idiots, and I’m sorry I was wrong.We have our own moron governor here in PA, too, and already have several organizations working to get him voted out. I wish you Mainers good luck removing this asshole from the public payroll…just don’t send him here.

        mark

        • Kate Moody says:

          Just remember, Maine didn’t elect him as Governor. He won with 37% of the vote, so most voters voted for the two other guys. Maine, unfortunately, does not have run-off elections for when more than 2 people run and noone gets 50%+. :(

    • Lee Ann says:

      Wrong. We get the democracy that THEY deserve. An informed voter should get a good solid democratic process in elections. But in a country where Sharron Angle got about 45% of the votes in Nevada in 2008, we are getting the democracy that THEY all deserve.

    • vacman says:

      Let’s keep the debate simple. Why do conservatives hate their children? Why aren’t they concerned about their children’s future to learn about global warming. They need a good BATTA-BING-B!TCH-SLAP! Watch at the 6 minute mark to see how it’s done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQPBOuhbvcM

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Where does one join the Buffoon Party? It sounds like a hoot. Then again, I won’t join any Party that would accept my membership application.

    • Johnny says:

      Hey, actual Maine resident here. LePage was actually elected without the popular vote. We had a situation where we had a very strong independent candidate and a weak dem canidate, that people still voted for out of party loyalty.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_LePage#2010_Maine_Gubernatorial_Campaign

      Basically if Libby had dropped out before election day, Eliot would have won, and everyone would be making comments on what an amazing Governor Maine has.

      Also, there’s been several attempts to get him out of office. And this is a great example of why instant-run-off-voting is a great idea.

      It’s kind of funny that you, and most of the people below you, decided to criticize the voters of Maine for being “uninformed”, while being quite uninformed of the matter yourselves.

  4. Timothy Hughbanks says:

    What is it about these porcine corporate shills that induces people to vote for them? I’m sorry, but my countrymen sometimes baffle me – what an obvious creep.

    • Charles Gage says:

      Timothy: Why do they vote for these people? I hate to say it, but when change occurs some people cannot handle it very well. The economy tanked starting back in 2008/9 and that combined with this uptick in voices from social conservatives and this sense of a lack of control, all led to this “retreat from sanity” by many Americans. Instead of looking ahead for the next moon shot, they instead retreated, trying to hold on to what semblance of normalcy they felt they had. Now, throw in the first black President in 2008, young people supporting progressive social issues, the truth about the Catholic Church finally coming to light, and mainstream religion, in general, taking a nosedive in attendance, it is easy to see why this backlash has occurred. Voting for this nimrod is just another of the whole Palin, Perry, O’Donnell, Bachmann, Cain, cadre of similarly-minded people who support (or claim to support) the views of those who feel disaffected.

      That is not reality, of course, but that is how they feel. In another generation, these people will be out of the voting pool and another generation of young, liberal-minded people will be voting. The GOP in its infinite denial refuses to believe this, just as they refused until the last moment to believe our President was re-elected by a larger margin than I ever expected.

      They also have a problem with facts vs. beliefs. Beliefs are not facts. You might as well give up on trying to change them. They believe in spite of empirical evidence to the contrary. If they were harmless, who would care? The problem is they are not and it affects the rest of who live in the real world.

    • Dennis Tomlinson says:

      The fox guards the hen house. Dogs and cats are living together. The pigs voice certainty of a Snowball conspiracy. And we obsess over the breeding of mules… from other mules.

    • Sime says:

      “I’m sorry, but my countrymen sometimes baffle me”

      And in the rest of the world they scare us totally shitless.

      I have chickens in a shed out the back that are smarter than this guy.

      Why do the US public keep voting for these individuals when they are clearly liars, cheats, and bufoons, who are simply paid up corporate shills not public servants working for and in the best interests of the majority of the people they purport to represent and serve?

    • Barry says:

      “What is it about these porcine corporate shills that induces people to vote for them? I’m sorry, but my countrymen sometimes baffle me – what an obvious creep.”

      There’s a sizable chunk of the American people which *likes* creeps, scum and swine. The more they know, the more they’ll like him.

  5. Chris Winter says:

    It would take more that a small motor to keep a modern, megawatt-grade windmill turning without wind. And yes, that wastes energy.

    I’d sooner believe that the small motor(s) are to point the turbine in the direction of prevailing wind, or to feather the blades in high winds.

    I tried Googling this. The only thing I found is this gas turbine system that keeps the blades turning 24/7. I guess the idea is that the gas is used only 70 percent of the time, on average, so it’s a net win for renewables.

    Bottom line: someone should tell Governor LePage that wind can be blowing high up at the turbine level even when it’s quiet on the ground.

  6. psher grant says:

    I’m sorry to say I’m getting used to this kind of crap from people like LePage. I’ve turned a corner and can be happy as I once was just be ignoring these idiots.

  7. Brad Vietje says:

    I guess it never occurred to the doofus that there might be enough of a breeze 300′ above his head to turn it, even when there was no significant wind at ground level?

    Seems there’s always wind around this smart fella — lots of hot air!

    What’s happening over there in Maine? How could you elect such a potato-head?

    • Ken Barrows says:

      LePage was elected with no more than 40% of the vote in a three way race. Democrat finished 3rd.

  8. george says:

    True or not this article has many statistics and links but not facts about cost efficiency, overall cost vs savings over current power generation, production, shipping, operational and longevity costs and then dismantling. I do not understand the statement regarding how this design “provides transparency and educational opportunities for students”?? When I see such statements that do not add value to the discussion and then see so many politically charged comments I can only believe the readers have an agenda and motivation far different than the subject of turbine power. To interject so quickly Scott Brown and the Gov. polical affiliation is juvenile and off center of the article…

    • Sean says:

      “this article has many statistics and links but not facts about cost efficiency”
      Statistics ARE facts!
      “overall cost vs savings over current power generation,”
      The article clearly states “That’s $100,000 off the University of Maine at Preque Isle’s utility bill” Try reading it sometime

      All your other stuff is just blather. It would be like asking what is the cost for the coal or nuclear power plant.
      This is the bait and switch that the right wing loves.
      I would also ask, how many right wingers would allow the emissions from a nuclear or coal plant to be released into their home? I will let every emission from solar and wind into mine
      If you do not believe the carbon released into the environment is a problem, let’s see how you like it in your home. Otherwise just go away and leave science to the SCIENTISTS, not economists or worse yet, idiot politicians.

  9. Mackenzie says:

    Has he never flown a kite? It’s pretty normal to have lots of wind at the height of the turbine while being relatively calm at ground level.

  10. M Tucker says:

    Yes, one characteristic of Republicans who get elected is that they believe a whole litany of insanely ignorant things. They of course are a reflection of those who elect them. A good example it Trump and how every candidate had to make a pilgrimage to him during the campaign, including Romney. Then go to Public Policy Polling and see what Republican voters believe. We have a whole lot of stupid in America and our elected Republican officials provide excellent proof.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Democracy don’t work too good when half the population is below the median intelligence, money power dominates political advertising, which has become overwhelmingly negative and the MSM is entirely Rightwing, often dementedly and wickedly so.

  11. June Roullard says:

    As a Mainer, I can tell you that the only reason this boorish idiot got elected is that there was a strong third party Independent candidate in the last election, which split the vote. Fortunately, the state legislature is now back in Democratic hands; unfortunately, that same Independent candidate will probably run again in 2014, meaning a good chance LePage might be re-elected. But I’m hoping that his extreme words and actions have alienated enough voters that we can get him out.

    There are many good things happening in the state, including the Tidal energy project Downeast that has begun generating electricity (with plans to expand); Unity College’s leading the way in divesting from Fossil Fuels; and an active campaign to prevent Tar Sands oil from coming into the state.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      I’d say secede and join Canada, but Harper has fixed that option. How about secede and join Iceland?

  12. Rick says:

    Dumber than a box of rocks.

  13. Art Richardson says:

    When you are given hundreds of thousands of dollars in brib.. er “campaign contributions” from the oil & gas special interests. You will say anything to please your masters

    • george says:

      Is the agenda to find out if wind power works for Maine or just an agenda to embarass and oust the Governor? So much off-subject crap makes no sense to this discussion…why is this an us against them mentally when we should highlight what is right and expose what is wrong??

      • kermit says:

        There is little in this article adding to our knowledge of the ecological and economic benefits of wind power generation. It is, rather, about the governor’s resistance to renewable energy generation, and his despicable dishonesty or abysmal ignorance, which represents the primary obstacles to a safe and healthy future: lies, greed, and laziness.

  14. martinchill says:

    “And that’s the government that you have here in the state of Maine.”

    said the governor of the state.

  15. Michael Soso says:

    LePage seems unclear on the facts and concepts. Perhaps this will help:

    A Zen master, hearing two monks arguing about whether it was the wind causing the flag to flap, or the flag causing the wind to flap, cut them off abruptly with the observation, “Neither. It is your mind that flaps.”

  16. dave says:

    You’d think the governor would be glad that the University was saving money on utility bills.

  17. Endrick says:

    This is what we get for electing people who think rotary dial phones are high tech…

  18. Kenneth Smith says:

    And how do you spell “crazy?”

  19. ARWKoppen says:

    Most stupidiest man I ever heard of is called:
    Maine Governor Paul LePage;
    Has he ever used the dynamo on a bike?
    Same principle:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamo

  20. Kimmo Wilska says:

    It seems that the governor is accusing the university of fraud. If the claim is without merit, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be sued for slander.

  21. Steve says:

    Another equally respected GOP representative stated that the woman’s body has a way to shut that whole things down.

  22. axis says:

    Of course the wind isn’t blowing, ON THE GROUND. That’s why they build tall towers to place the darned things on. The wind is actually stronger up high, but that would be science, and we know how cons feel about those slippery scientific facts.

  23. artisanrox says:

    Dear Governor:

    Please get out of the Northeast. We don’t want your kind around here any more. Go live in Texas with Perry and Glenn Beck.

  24. James Root says:

    He’s a Maine-iac, Maine-iac… and it shows… Yes, I am chiding a wonderful, proud state about their highest elected official. (surely there is a large dissenting minority, right?) As far as LePage goes, it’s one thing to hate on your competition in private, a whole ‘nother to open your mouth and utter jems like that.

  25. ARWKoppen says:

    lol, I think the bike that would be able to carry him, still has to be invented; so
    He might think abt how energy charges the battery of his car, &
    How turbines drive generators in power plants to do the same.
    Like the wind drives the blades of the turbine of a generator in case of a windmill.
    It’s even old technology already used in holland for centuries.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windmill

  26. Zimzone says:

    Few know that LePage’s rhetoric is fueled by methane emissions erupting regularly from an overly inflated gastrointestinal system.

  27. Forrest says:

    there is a tiny percentage of reality related to his claim, reference:
    “”There are two basic methods for starting a wind turbine with an induction generator. Either use the rotational energy from wind turbine rotor to bring it up to operational speed or use
    the power of the grid and use the generator as a motor. The starting procedure for Vestas’s OptiSpeed combines these two methods.
    The coherence between wg and the power produced is described in Section 1.3 on page 4 and shown in Figure 1.6 in the same section. The generator torque (Tg) is virtually linear with the produced power, and the real results from the Vestas model with Tg as a function of wg is shown in Figure 3.12 on the next page.”

    Source “Automation Control is an organizational unit within the Department of Electronic Systems at Aalborg University.”

  28. G. Rushing says:

    I don’t think they will have to worry about him once this term is up. Most Mainers are very sorry they fell for this fool. He is a disgrace to Maine. He has no chance at re-election.

  29. ResidentAlien says:

    I’ve heard some politicians have small electric motors that keep their mouths working when their brains have stopped.

  30. Jeanne Houghton says:

    Seems like if he just blew his comments in the right direction, the hot air would boost the windmill.

  31. Timothy laurent says:

    the republican mantra: science!!! we dont need no stinking science!!….do these people ever get tired of embarrasing themselves??? or is it there DNA

    • george says:

      Tim, so scary as the dem mantra is education, a part of science. Are you confused orr just unenducated because you missed and failed science…poor lost soul and waste of our school funding in Maine, maybe your absence is the result of your foolishness….

  32. Marie says:

    Another Republican politician who has not only failed in science — his mind is closed to learning about science.
    They seem proud of their ignorance, believing they are extraordinarily witty.
    How they continue to get elected is not only stunning, it is frightening.

  33. Ray Kondrasuk says:

    He wants to be the next Scott Walker?

    I’m a cheesehead is more than willing to ship the current one to Maine.

  34. Penny Whitney-Asdourian says:

    Dear Governor LePage,

    I didn’t vote for you, I don’t agree with you, and, heck, I don’t even like you, but you are our governor and I respect your position. However, you make it increasingly difficult when you keep opening your mouth and saying things that make you look like an idiot. Then people in other parts of the country (I winter in FL) think that because you are an idiot, all Mainers are idiots…after all, you got elected by the popular vote.

    So as a constituent, I have a request. Please stop saying things that make absolutely no sense. In return, I will continue to keep all of the postings that I’d like to make on social media sites to myself and I will continue to work hard to respect your position as Governor.

    Thank you!

  35. Dan says:

    Lepage is a vulgar bully who constantly proves an embarassment to people in Maine. He will be gone in 2014 and that day cannot come soon enough.

  36. F.Parker says:

    I find it hard to believe that Maine voters are that stupid to put this moron in office, he’s even dumber than they must be!

  37. Jo says:

    No, Governor, what’s unbelievable is what a lying sack of puppy poo YOU are.

  38. Matthew Tanner says:

    This is an easy one: Governor, here’s a wrench. Here’s a flashlight. Let’s carry your ass on out to the site and have you point out the “little electric motor.”

  39. rdale says:

    “Citizens of Maine are taking steps of their own toward a clean energy future.” And the very first step they should take is throwing this douchebucket out of office.

  40. george says:

    If Mainer’s only want to believe that some items work when they don’t and they will not support our economy and way of life, then we are doomed, dem or repub or ind. Let’s keep the open mind and understand not jump to stupid political polarization. So many uneducated people comment with no facts but many opionions that do not help….

    • kermit says:

      Are you claiming that the turbine doesn’t work? The article mentions how much money the university saved from it. If you claim that it does not work, please present a link to your sources. If you are talking about something else, please clarify.

  41. Robert Baker says:

    Obama is a total failure. We need a presidential election this year. He’s just like an industrial wind turbine that needs ever increase tax revenues to just keep up with his vacations.

  42. Desertphile says:

    Meanwhile, Germany’s wind power three days ago was 22.2 gigawatt hours in 24 hours.

  43. Jerry Spiegelman says:

    There’s no end to republicnut stupidity.

  44. Jan Freed says:

    Sue his butt for slander.

  45. William Leavenworth says:

    For the love of God, let’s get an impeachment movement going. And to prevent this sort of clown show again, let’s get a constitutional amendment providing for a runoff election in the event that nobody gets over 50% of the vote. LePage is clearly in way over his head; he wouldn’t make it to 3rd selectman in our town.

  46. Malacandra says:

    The governor is absolutely correct when he says this is unbelievable.

    Therefore, we shouldn’t believe him.

  47. Bill Christensen says:

    Just think if we could only get these windbags in front of the turbines the their hot air harnassed. Our energy needs might be solved.

  48. Rachel Poland says:

    Nothing Mr LePage says surprises me anymore. I worked for him several years ago when he took a carpetbagger position at a company where I worked. To say that we occupied separate realities in those days is something of an understatement.

  49. Rob Merrill says:

    Time to turn Lepage. 2014 where are you?

  50. stump jumper says:

    I am sorry but as a Maine resident, I have been embarrassed by our modern day “Luddite” time and time again.

    An electric generator is an electric motor run backwards.

    LePage is famous for managing a retail salvage outlet and for being a teenage bully by his own admission.

    Please do not judge us by this one man’s mania. His election was an accident of the confluence of “Obama-care” hysteria and a five way race where his winning share was a third of the vote.

  51. Mrjohnspeaks says:

    Why is it so easy for republicans to elect idiots instead of people that will do a little research on a given subject before speaking about it?

  52. Chris Winter says:

    Tipping: “LePage added a new false anecdote to his repertoire on Tuesday as he spoke to the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce…”

    I get the feeling that the Skowhegan Area Chamber is a proud member of the national Chamber of Commerce.

    Having read the linked article, titled “LePage Spins Windmill Conspiracy Theory”, I can testify that Mike Tipping has his head on straight and is no fan of LePage.

    In the comments, there is a note that LePage later tweeted “It was not my intention to misspeak about UMPI’s windmill, but I admit I had misinformation.”

  53. Ellie says:

    There must be some machinery in the windmill that converts the mechanical energy produced by the turning of the blades into electric; maybe the governor confused that with an electric motor?

  54. DallasNE says:

    The Governor is not challenging the status quo, the Governor is challenging the science and when you go naked like he has you get (sun) burned. Had he bothered to read the Wikipedia page on wind turbines he would learn that the blades are calibrated to rotate at a fixed speed to generate electricity at the proper value for direct conversion into the grid. And that because of their huge size and high location there is almost always enough wind to operate successfully. As it is he comes across as a stumblebum unworthy of the office he holds. Hopefully Maine voters also recognize this shortcoming and throw him out of office.

  55. shirley says:

    lol, not at le page, but at the dumb voters who were suckered in by him, and all of the rest of the “can only do one job… gut abortion right, bircher, party of gawd govs. u got who u voted for too bad. love my progressive md gov

  56. Helen York says:

    LePage got into office as a quirk of the election system. The majority of Mainers did NOT vote for him. He won with only 39% of the vote.
    Maine had Elzabeth Mitchell, a well-respected if rather mild-mannered Democrat running PLUS progressive out-of-the box thinker Eliot Cutler running as an Independent. Mitchell and Cutler garnered about 20% and 37% of the vote, respectively, splitting a 57% majority that would have voted for ANYONE BUT LEPAGE. Lepage narrowly defeated the intelligent and capable Cutler by about 1 percentage point.

    Mainers have been embarrassed by him ever since. He is NOT typical of our elected officials. Maine is proud to have had intelligent leaders, Independent, Democrat, or Republican, including Margaret Chase Smith, Angus King, Susan Collins, Olympia Snow and George Mitchell. LePage is an anomaly.

  57. Dogsface says:

    I wish ThingProgress would allow other forms of commenting other than TWITTER OR FACEBOOK.

    I comment all the time on Common Dreams and Guardian and BBC, however, on TP I have not voice.

  58. Norman Mitchell says:

    If you know anything at all about science you know at motor and a generator are the same thing. Its just a matter of put in power to a generator to make a motor or tuning a motor to produce electricity so no they don’t have a separate motor to tun them !

    • Norman Mitchell says:

      Using the generator as a motor to help the blades start to turn when the wind speed is low or, to maintain the illusion that the facility is producing electricity when it is not, particularly during important site tours. Each turbine consumes more than 50% of its rated capacity in its own operation?! If so, the plant as a whole — which may produce only 25% of its rated capacity annually — would be using twice as much electricity as it produces and sells! The Industry doesn’t publicize any data that proves otherwise; incoming power is apparently not normally recorded. Wayne Gulden has analyzed the daily production reports of a Vestas V82 1.65-MW wind turbine at the University of Minnesota, Morris, from 2006 to 2008. The data suggest that the turbine consumes at a minimum rate of about 50 kW, or 8.3% of its reported production over those years (and which declined 2-4% each year) So, the point that major amounts of incoming electrical power is used to turn the power train and blades when the wind is not blowing is very accurate!! It is not something the operators of large wind turbines can avoid. In large rotating power trains that are allowed to stand motionless for any period of time, the will experience “bowing” of shafts and rotors under the tremendous weight. Therefore, frequent rotating of the unit is necessary to prevent this. The wind farm operator … has to keep the sensitive equipment — the drives, hubs and rotor blades — in constant motion In addition to protect the gear box and generator shafts and bearings, the blades on a large wind turbine would offer a special challenge with respect to preventing warping and bowing when not in use. For example, on a sunny, windless day, idle wind turbine blades would experience uneven heating from the sun, something that would certainly cause bowing and warping. The only way to prevent this would be to keep the blades moving to even out the sun exposure to all parts of the blade. Sources -Lawrence E. Miller, Gerrardstown, WV, an engineer with over 40 years of professional experience with large power train machinery associated with Navy ships , Danish Wind Industry Association, A Problem With Wind Power by Eric Rosenbloom . So a little research before poking fun at the Governor would be nice just saying !!

  59. Scott Belskis says:

    The fact that there are onsite liquid fuel generators to do all the functions that comments seem to not believe,does show the reason this state is being scammed by these companies and the misinformed who are following blindly .All of these accessories that are being talked about are run on electricity .So common sense says that unless they are purchasing it from the grid (which is prohibited by law ) then they must have onsite fossil fuel generation capability or the turbines are dead in the air if no wind is present . I have been present at one site and witnessed the power use to operate the project and would gladly recommend a tour of any of these projects when less then 4 mph wind is happening to anyone .

    • Chris Winter says:

      If I understand your poorly worded comment correctly, your point is irrelevant. No one claims that any given wind turbine will produce power 100 percent of the time. The fact that they typically produce power 30 percent of the time is well understood and does not disqualify them as one part of a sensible energy infrastructure — the more so because large numbers of wind turbines can get closer to 24/7 production.

      And BTW, no nuclear or fossil-fuel power plant is available 100 percent of the time either.

      • Scott Belskis says:

        I see that the wording is more of a problem then the actual issue to you .But that said the idea is still as I said, poor by design .Many are willing to over look the destruction to the scenic views and the technoligy ,that has come a ways in the last 10 years, but is still by far more expensive then hydro .I do work for a company who is servicing projects that they install ,so my information is based on the reality of daily use over any experimental idea .I do see the short term ability on the actual machines and added costs from the actual workers info . But this started off as a bash Lepage moment anyways . So the fact that he said the motors/generator was being run as an electric motor off of another resource other then the turbines own power? He is correct in that part for over 50% of its life in low wind areas ,like Maine, as the US Geo wind studies for Maine have shown it to be . So then this is irrelevant other then to ? You get my point.

        • facts lean left says:

          Scott, your points are basically lies and bullsh*t. And bashing LePage is excellent exercise, since he needs and deserves it for the ignorance he flouts and the anti-American attitude he wears.

        • Chris Winter says:

          It is true that wind turbines do sometimes use external power to start them spinning when wind is low, to run instruments and controls, to heat oil sumps in winter.

          But that’s not what LePage said. And he implied that the UMPI wind turbine is a fraud. He’s wrong. Address that issue.

  60. Michael Fair says:

    LePage read it on the Internet, so it MUST be true…

  61. When are we going to stop electing willfully ignorant, abrasive old racists to office? I don’t blame him. He’s an unremarkable toad of a man. They’re a dime a dozen. I blame those that voted for him.

    By allowing this type of mediocrity to creep into the system, we only end up with the government we deserve.

  62. Kate says:

    Barring LePage’s ignorance of the issue, Scott is correct on what he says. Here in New Hampshire the western part of the state which is rich in its wildlife attractions to outside tourists and steeped in a tradition of community reliance on the tourist industry is threatened by the wind industry’s efforts to push turbines in the western portion of the state.

    Coupled with the efforts of the energy conglomerate NStar to run a giant power line infrastructure through the White Mountains from lower Quebec, New Hampshire’s wildlife regions are under serious threat.

    The wind industry is banking on the hopes of those, who like myself (until I learned about wind power and its foibles)are eager and hopeful to find a way to get off our dependence on fossil fuels and clean our air.

    Unfortunately, wind turbines as they are currently produced, as Scott says — on modalities that are outdated considering newer research — but are cheaper to produce has questionable return in energy produced in the Northeast than the environmental destruction they pose to wildlife areas.

    In New Hampshire the Appalachian Mountain Club, a nationally respected and recognized environmental group that protects the Appalachian mountain region and the western mountain regions of the state has come out against wind “farm” development on New Hampshire’s ridgelines.

    In addition the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, a non-partisan privately held land-trust, preservation group has come out strongly against ridgeline wind farm placement as well.

    Already New Hampshire has hosted numerous small wind farms that have over the years failed to produce enough to remain sustenable and were subsequently abandoned. Presently Tenney Mountain hosts a number of wind turbines that were placed on privately held mountain land.

    Surprisingly, reflecting the regional divisions among this small state, many people and legislators from the southern urban areas have been convinced by wind industry lobbyists that the wind turbines provide a “tourist attraction” and are somehow blithely wonderful.

    Yet Tenney Mountain is now completely cut-off from public access without prior guided permission. Wide roads have scarred the landscape and the rocky ridges have been blasted and bulldozed into industrial wastelands to make way for wind turbines that can at best contribute only about 17% of the glowing numbers once provided by the industry (usually promises of 30% are given).

    Think carefully and do your research before you scoff. There are places in the United States that provide good locations for wind “farms”, but low elevation coastal areas (Maine and New Hampshire are obviously closer to sea level) than other parts of the country, such as the Great Plains regions.

    While at first blush its encouraging to see the government finally get on board with renewable energy after the dark ages of St. Ronnie and his successors, the fact is, further investigation into the wind industry and its manipulative practices, the regions its choosing to target (low income, generally low political participation) seem to reflect more an effort to reach the pinnacle of quick profits than any over-arching desire to move us forward toward a cleaner, sustainble energy solution.

    In addition, the zeal for wind industry expansion has left the most obvious factor in climate change off the table once again –our continued American thirst for increasing consumption without serious reflection or consideration.

    Without considering on a serious level ways to decrease our consumptive habits, no wind farms, no renewabble energy “solutions” will save us — we will end up turning up every last bit of soil, spoiling and fouling our air and killing off the ecosystem we depend on for survival.

    • Chris Winter says:

      You write, “Yet Tenney Mountain is now completely cut-off from public access without prior guided permission.”

      Seeing as it’s privately-held land, I would expect that you as a resident of “Live free or die” New Hampshire would approve of this, not protest it.

      I’m well aware of the downsides to wind farms. The primary one in New England may well be that they disrupt old-growth forests and destroy scenic values without giving much clean energy, and might even boost regional CO2 emissions. But I’d sure like to see the numbers on that issue.

      I agree completely with your last paragraph. But renewables can give us the time to turn things around in a manner more consistent with present-day civilization.