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Twin River Energy Center

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

This 700 megawatt Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) plant was planned to be built on the site of the decommissioned Maine Yankee nuclear power plant near the town of Wiscassett. Because Wiscasset's building code required amending for the project to move forward, the plant had to go before Wiscasset voters. A local coalition of environmentalists and lobster fishers (who argued that coal barges would disrupt their fishing)[1] protested against the proposal, and voters rejected it by a vote of 868-707 on Nov. 6, 2007.[2] RE/Sources, however, described the voting results as “feedback,” and reiterated their commitment to the project.[3]

Blogger John Deans described the protest:

Last Thursday, October 11, the North End Lobster Co-op held a demonstration with 30 lobster boats and a gaggle of shore-bound supports including two state representatives. The lobster co-op opposes the new plant because of the shipping vessels that would be going in and out of lobstering grounds. The lobstermen claim that the barges delivering coal would severely decrease the areas that lobstermen could fish in. This recent demonstration is a great example of the potential for collaboration between economic interests and environmental interests. The idea for the rally came from the lobstermen who contacted the Conservation Law Foundation that helped spread the word to the media. Having grown up in Maine, I have heard many times from the fishing community “those damned environmentalists!” The local press coverage also talked about the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions which is hopefully a message that fishermen can take up along with their own specific qualms. This issue may help to bring these usually opposing sides together and help all parties realize the multiple stakeholders that are effected by new coal projects.[4]

The Natural Resources Council of Maine wrote:[5][6]

The Town of Wiscasset had a scare last year when a Connecticut-based real estate developer announced plans for a massive coal gasification plant to be located near the site of the former Maine Yankee nuclear power plant. The proposed coal facility would have converted coal to liquid diesel and also generated electricity. But the environmental impacts would have been large, including a big increase in Maine’s carbon dioxide emissions and threats to the safety of local fishermen and lobstermen from massive coal barges arriving up the Sheepscot River almost daily. Moreover, the coal likely would have come from Appalachia, where mountain-top removal mining has destroyed the landscape. The citizens of Wiscasset last November rejected a zoning amendment sought by the company, but the developer suggested that he might come back.

Project Details

Sponsor: RE/Sources
Location: Wiscasset, Maine
Capacity: 700 MW
Type: IGCC
Status: Voted down by local citizens

Financing

Citizen Groups

Resources

References

  1. “Lobstermen Protest Proposed Power Plant,” WCSH Portland website, October 11, 2007.
  2. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed December 2007. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  3. Paula Gibbs, “‘No’ Vote was ‘Feedback’: Twin River Remains ‘Steadfast’ in ‘Mission’,” Wiscasset Newspaper, November 8, 2007.
  4. "Maine Lobstermen Rally Against Coal Gasification," It's Getting Hot in Here, October 14, 2007
  5. "2008 Legislative Report Card," Natural Resources Council of Maine, accessed 10/08
  6. Ted Nace, "Blocking Ferrari-Ready Driveways," Gristmill, 4/16/08

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