Abatement Talks Continue . . .
Most of the Board of Selectmen meeting held Monday night revolved around the 30% abatement request made by Beaver Ridge Wind, LLC earlier in the year.
Squirrel: One thing that immediately made me chuckle was mentioned in the second paragraph. Todd Presson states that they are not asking to be treated differently. Really? Have we mentioned that the Beaver Ridge Wind project is the only non-regulated industrial wind site in the state of Maine? I’d say they asked to be treated differently when several bills went before legislation to have the project state regulated and Beaver Ridge Wind did everything in their power to make sure they were killed.
Presson mentions that Beaver Ridge Wind is essentially an income-producing asset. “If it doesn’t produce income, it doesn’t have any value.” He further states that valuing wind assets is a complicated, technical business and there are different approaches. Valuing a project based only on current year revenue without taking into account all the operating cost and service of life of the machinery required to produce the revenue, is incomplete and not supported by any methods he knows of. He also says he can’t agree that the Beaver Ridge Wind projects value will never go below 70% of the value set in 2011.
A drafted letter (below) was passed around the meeting agreeing with some of the aspects of BRW’s above letter, but not all.
The Board of Selectmen did agree with what Pression states above about the wind project not having any value if it doesn’t produce income. And because they agree, It is their belief that using power production data, collected from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), is an accurate way to decide value. Within the data obtained from FERC, it indicated that BRW’s power production and resulting income for 2014 was 95% of the production reported by BRW in 2009, its first year of operation.
Another squirrel: The FERC data obtained will be used in another post. Some interesting data was revealed for the months of November and December 2013 — the time that our second sound testing was done by Beaver Ridge Wind.
At one point, Selectman Ron Price spoke up and told Todd Presson that if a full 30% abatement was granted to Beaver Ridge Wind, LLC it would break the town. He also called for a show of hands for those that wanted to let this go before the State Board of Property Tax Review. Several hands were raised in favor of this option. I asked my husband, who attended the meeting, if he raised his hand. He had, saying his thought was that the residents of Freedom will be paying for whatever outcome is reached, one way or another. Why make it easy?
It is believed that in earlier dealings with the town, wind project representatives stated they would not be asking for abatements. Selectman Kenny Overlock made the request for a review of past minutes to see if this information could be located.
No resolution was reached by the end of this meeting and discussions will continue at the scheduled Board of Selectmen Meeting on Monday, June 8, 2015.
“Do I believe in arbitration? I do. But not in arbitration between the lion and the lamb, in which the lamb is in the morning found inside the lion.” — Samuel Gompers