Regulators stall UMaine offshore wind project

Regulators stall

UMaine offshore wind project

Maine regulators are putting a hold on an innovative offshore wind project’s proposed contract to sell electricity to Central Maine Power, the latest twist in Aqua Ventus’ attempt to test a floating turbine platform near Monhegan Island.

In 2014, the Maine Public Utilities Commission gave the green light for the University of Maine’s Aqua Ventus project to negotiate a long-term contract with Central Maine Power for electricity from two experimental floating turbines. Prices would rise to 35 cents a kilowatt hour by the year 2040. But as commissioners note now, electricity prices have recently come under significant downward pressure, and the contract could be worth as much as five times the market price.

Regulators said that would amount to an unwarranted subsidy.

“The intent of the statute is to develop a technology that is going to be commercially viable without subsidy,” Public Utilities Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy said.

Vannoy also said that many of the goals of the state’s Ocean Wind Energy Act, including reduced dependence on fossil fuel energy, are being met.

► Source - BDN ◄

► Source - PPH ◄


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Comment by richard mcdonald on January 10, 2018 at 2:05pm

This project has been shoved down our throats by Senators Collins, King, Cianbro, Emera, Reed&Reed, et al. We've met our renewables goals - time to halt any further permitting -  period - land based and offshore. Time to unwind the wind scam and save Maine from total destruction.  

Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on January 10, 2018 at 1:37pm

Bowling for subsidy dollars and throwing Monhegan under the bus. Big bait and switch.

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

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