Governor Mills Applauds PUC’s Approval of Maine Aqua Ventus Contract

November 5, 2019

In June, Governor Mills signed bill requiring PUC to approve key contract allowing innovative project to move forward

Governor Janet Mills issued the following statement today applauding the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) approval of a contract for Maine Aqua Ventus, a first-of-its-kind floating offshore wind pilot project spearheaded by the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine.

“The PUC’s approval of this contract is a major milestone for our state’s clean energy future. Thanks to the innovative work of the University of Maine, Aqua Ventus is poised to become the first offshore wind project in the country to feature a floating platform, an advancement that cements our state’s leadership in offshore wind development and that puts Maine on the map for clean energy technology. With this key and long-overdue approval, this cutting-edge demonstration project is now on track to move forward and allow us to harness our own clean, renewable source of energy, create jobs, and strengthen our economy.”

In June 2019, Governor Mills signed into law LD 994, a resolve sponsored by Republican Senator David Woodsome directing the PUC to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus. The University of Maine has estimated that Maine Aqua Ventus will produce nearly $152 million in total economic output, and more than 1,150 Maine-based jobs, including jobs for design and construction. Operations and maintenance of the facility will create an additional economic output of approximately $30 million over 20 years.

https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-applauds-p...

Maine utility regulators approve tests for floating wind turbine project off Maine coast

11/5/19

By Nora Flaherty

Maine's Public Utilities Commission has approved a project that will test a floating platform that will hold up to two wind turbines, near Monhegan Island.

Earlier this year, Maine's Legislature passed a law requiring the PUC to approve the University of Maine's Aqua Ventus project - and the University of Maine recently got a grant of about $5 million to help develop the platforms.

PUC Chair Phillip Bartlett says the Aqua Ventus project could add to Maine's economy by bringing more research and development dollars into Maine. "And also if this takes off, there's a real opportunity for economic development, both in the production and then the rollout of offshore wind turbines in the year ahead."

Bartlett says this turbine could make offshore wind practical in places where you can't put the foundation for a windmill on the ocean floor.

"So I think it really expands the ability to have offshore wind in more places like the coast of Maine," Bartlett says, "and can really generate a ton of electricity at times when we need it here in Maine and around the region."

In a statement, Maine Gov. Janet Mills called the PUC's approval of the project "a major milestone" in the state's effort to reduce carbon emissions. 

"With this key and long-overdue approval, this cutting-edge demonstration project is now on track to move forward and allow us to harness our own clean, renewable source of energy, create jobs, and strengthen our economy," Mills said.

Continue reading here:

https://www.mainepublic.org/post/maine-utility-regulators-approve-t...

ALSO:

https://bangordailynews.com/2019/11/05/politics/maine-utility-regul...

and

https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2019/11/06/maine-utility-regulators...

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UMaine Revisits Offshore Wind Approach - Follows Feds Telling Industry to Go Back to Square One

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/bowling-for-subsidies-c...

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Comment by Art Brigades on November 7, 2019 at 10:57am

As New England is poised to close out 2019 with wholesale electricity prices at 3 cents or a little lower, why is there no mention of the PRICE in the news coverage of this mandated ratepayer obligation?

Rah Rah. Jobs!

Comment by Willem Post on November 6, 2019 at 6:00pm

Hywind Scotland project is the world's first commercial wind turbine plant using floating wind turbines.

SEE URL

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/deep-water-floating-off...

 

It is located 29 km (EIGHTEEN MILES) off PeterheadScotland to minimize visual impacts from shore.

It has five Hywind floating turbines with a total capacity of 30 MW.

It is operated by Hywind (Scotland) Limited, a joint venture of Equinor, Norway (75%) and Masdar, Kuwait (25%).

 

In 2015, Equinor received permission to install 5 Hywind turbines in Scotland.  

 

Manufacturing started in 2016 in Spain (wind turbine, rotor), Norway (tower, underwater base, assembly), and Scotland (various parts)

The turnkey capital cost was $263 million for five 6 MW turbines, or $8,767/kW.

They were designed to float on the surface, with about 180 m (600 ft) above the sea water level and 80 m (265 ft) submerged below the seawater level.

Total steel weight is about 2300 metric ton, total ballasted weight is about 20,000 metric ton.

Heavy weights in the bottom of the submerged parts serve to keep them steady and upright.

 

The turbines were assembled at Stord in Norway in the summer of 2017, using the specialized Saipem 7000 floating crane, and then towed to the north of Scotland by sea-going tugboats.

Make sure to see the videos showing the crane assembling the entire wind turbine.

Nothing like that exists in Maine, or in the rest of New England.

That means offshore wind turbine assembly and servicing would largely be performed by foreign companies, which already have built the infrastructures and other facilities during the past 25 years.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUlfvXaISvc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmkA6hbJ_j8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQVU7UaMuck

 

The huge, sea-going, specialized, crane (14,000-metric ton lifting capacity) is required for partial assembly on land and final assembly in an area close to shore with a very deep harbor, before towing, fully assembled, to the site.

 

The finished turbines were towed to Peterhead, Scotland.  

Three cup anchors hold each turbine in place.

About 2400 meter of chain is required, weighing 400 metric ton, for each turbine.

The Hywind Scotland project was commissioned in October 2017.

LePage’s energy director, Steven McGrath, has focused exclusively on the cost of electricity from the demonstration project.

 

The rate is at least three times above wholesale market value, reflecting the custom design and experimental nature of the platforms.

 

It would start at 23 cents per kilowatt-hour in the first year, escalating at 2.5% per year to 35 cents after 20 years.

 

The PUC estimates it would add up to $208 million over the term, or about $10.5 million a year from Central Maine Power ratepayers. Maine Aqua Ventus had calculated the extra cost would add 73 cents a month to the average household electric bill, in the first year of operation, more thereafter.

  

That is a total rip-off, because Massachusetts pays only an average of 8 - 9 c/kWh over the life of the project.

Main bureaucrats need to learn from Governor Baker.

 

NOTE: The above prices should be compared with NE wholesale prices, which have been about 5 c/kWh since 2008, courtesy of abundant, domestic, low-cost, low-CO2 electricity from gas at about 5 c/kWh, and low-cost, near CO2-free electricity from nuclear at about 4.5 - 5.0 c/kWh.

 

This project is insanity on STEROIDS.

 

One has to feel sorry for the already-struggling Joe and Jane Workers in Maine who will ultimately pay for all this.

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/04/01/effort-to-build-offshore-win...

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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