The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Update: Maine's Offshore Wind Development Now A Bidding War... Of One

What had suddenly become a two-horse race to tap into the vast potential for offshore wind energy in Maine as an early leader in developing this industry in the U.S. has taken another turn, with Statoil pulling the plug on its proposed offshore wind energy project due to what it deems unfair manipulation by state officials.

Maine has one of the more robust offshore wind energy profiles, and is one of the first states to try and tap into it. In 2010 Statoil landed a power-purchase agreement (PPA) with Central Maine Power Company (20 years at $0.27/kWh) for its proposed $120 million 12-MW Hywind project, and earlier this year it received preliminary approval from the Maine Public Utilities Commission. But Maine state officials, concerned about that rate being too high and seeking to maximize local economic benefits from offshore wind development, reopened the bidding process this summer to allow a University of Maine-developed project to submit a competing proposal for its now-being-demonstrated VolturnUS technology. That annoyed Statoil to the point where it put its Maine plans on hold. Subsequent revelations that state officials had aggressively worked behind the scenes months earlier to torpedo the Statoil-CMP agreement only fanned the flames.

The UMaine-backed proposal for its own 12-MW pilot project was filed with the PUC on August 30 by newly formed Maine Aqua Ventus I, GP LLC, a partnership of Cianbro Emera and Maine Prime Technologies (a UMaine spinoff). That plan was kept entirely confidential, preventing public analysis and comparison, though the state PUC has since ruled that some of the information must be made public and all of it made available to Statoil.

Nevertheless, Statoil is fed up with the whole process, so it's pulling the plug: "we have decided to discontinue this project," confirmed Ola Morten Aanestad, communications VP for North America. The company will focus on a similar Hywind project in Scotland where support for offshore wind seems more stable, but It also will continue to explore other U.S. offshore wind opportunities (including potentially revisiting Maine) in locations meeting criteria of wind resources, deep water, and close to load centers. No formal plans are in place, but "we are watching the market closely, and believe it can be an interesting market for us longer term," he said.

State officials are shedding no tears, calling the company "ambiguous in its commitment to growing Maine's economy" while "placing a $200 million burden on Mainers by way of increasing electric costs." Other legislators and industry watchers worry about the impact on a promising fledgling industry, pointing out it's just more of the same stiff-arm from Governor LePage, known as no friend to local wind energy, having once called it "a fraud." (To be fair, that's hardly the worst thing he's said or done during his term.)

A decision from the Maine PUC on at least the UMaine proposal is expected by the end of the year.

Read more wind energy news here.

Lead image: Maine State Flag blowing in blue sky, via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

States Already Seek To Delay Clean Power Plan

Andrew Harris, Bloomberg Fifteen states led by coal-rich West Virginia asked a federal court to stall Obama administration rules intended to c...

Stolen Solar Panels and Sabotage A Challenge for Powering India With Renewable Energy

Anindya Upadhyay, Bloomberg Disappointment spread across Tarun Singh’s face when he saw that parts of his solar power microgrid in eastern India’...

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

With Vast Amounts of Geothermal, Wind and Hydropower, Why No Solar In New Zealand?

James Ellsmoor, Contributor New Zealand has built an international brand on environmentalism and the great outdoors. So it is unsurprising that t...

PRESS RELEASES

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

Early Bird Registration Deadline for GRC Annual Meeting is This Week

The deadline for early-bird rates for registration for the biggest annual geothermal ev...

Redesigned HydroWorld.com Video Gallery

Hydropower news and information, and interesting promotional announcements are now avai...

FEATURED BLOGS

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

The Coming Multi-trillion Dollar Energy Investment Drive

In coming years, a multi-trillion dollar low-emission energy investment drive will get underway. Three catalysts wil...

The Perfect Elevator Pitch

The elevator pitch is a concise statement that grabs attention and communicates value, ideally leading to a next step...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Jim is Contributing Editor for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in South Africa – in partnership with GWEC, the Glob...

Wind Energy in South Africa has been expanding dramatically, growing fro...

Wind Operator Congress Europe

The UK’s only business-focused O&M event for the European wind...

Distributed Wind Energy Workshop

Description: Distributed wind energy is electricity that is produced for...

COMPANY BLOGS

Clean Energy Patents Maintain High Levels in First Quarter, Solar L...

U.S. patents for Clean Energy technologies from the first quarter of 201...

Koch Professor drops his Koch title, still makes same errors plus s...

The Koch Professor’s title isn’t the only thing that’s...

Fact Check: AWEA represents American wind power

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is proud of its members for ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS