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Public Engagement on Wind:

Lessons from Coastal Maine


October 26, 2012 Suzanne MacDonald
Overview
Organizational Background
Community Context
Case Studies
Fox Islands Wind
Offshore Wind Energy Information Exchange
Themes
Lessons Learned
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Organizational Background
Partnering with Maines year-round island and
coastal communities to help them remain vibrant
places to live and work
Technical resource, information broker, convener
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Community Context
High energy costs
Isolated, coastal areas
Interest in local control
Robust wind resource
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2008 Electric Rates
Fox Islands Wind: Overview
4.5 MW community-
owned wind project
3 GE 1.5 MW sle turbines
Provides power to the
Fox Islands Electric
Cooperative
Serves the islands of
Vinalhaven and North
Haven, Maine
Lowered electric rates
by 15%

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Fox Islands Wind: Engagement
Pre-construction
Series of public meetings and
outreach initiatives
Research guided by community
priorities
Community vote: 382-5

Post-construction
Information sharing continues
Updates in bills
Annual meetings
Tours
Student program: Energy for ME

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Offshore Wind Energy Information Exchange
Engaged a broad range of stakeholders
Commercial fishermen, coastal residents,
regulatory agency staff, legislators, developers
Enhanced stakeholder understanding of ocean
energy and ocean use issues
Documented priority questions, concerns and
interests
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Offshore Wind Energy Information Exchange
"Wind Turbines on Land,
Wind Turbines at Sea" Tour NEWF Conference
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Views from the Dock
and the Deck Tour
Peer-Reviewed
Fact Sheet Series
Tours
Fact Sheets
Info Sessions
Participatory
Mapping



Tuna Fisheries Map
Themes
Value of local
partnerships
Interest in hearing
information first-hand
Importance of using
locally-relevant
information



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Lessons Learned
Invest in leaders
If possible, even before a project is proposed
Provide resources when possible (Block Island, Oakfield)
Network leaders from similar communities
Define outreach based on community priorities
Know your audience and their concerns
Design materials that are accessible and locally relevant



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Lessons Learned, contd
Provide direct connections to experts
Create opportunities for different stakeholder groups to
learn from each other, maintain communication throughout
the siting process
Experiential learning
Build understanding of issues and trust between parties
through shared experiences


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Thank You

Suzanne Pude MacDonald
Community Energy Director, Island Institute
smacdonald@islandinstitute.org
(207) 594-9209 ext. 144

www.islandinstitute.org/energyinitiatives
www.islandinstitute.org/offshorewindenergyinformationexchange

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