Ocean energy conference asks: Why not Maine?


ARTICLE BY PORTLAND PRESS HERALD

"Some place will be the home base of a new energy industry and Maine could be it."


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"Ken Fletcher, the director of Maine's state energy office, got a chance last week to back away from some earlier statements about the future of offshore wind power.

Fletcher had been quoted expressing skepticism about the LePage administration's interest in a power source that would be more expensive than the above-average prices Mainers pay already. But Fletcher was reacting to a price target from a demonstration project, not the full-scale offshore wind farm that would be built only if the demonstration were a success. That development is projected to produce competitively priced power by the end of the decade.

Such a negative message coming from the governor's top energy adviser, on the eve of a national ocean energy conference in Portland, could have been disruptive to an industry that is on the verge of viability after a long period of slow incubation.

Fortunately, Fletcher attended the conference, took part in a panel discussion and moderated his earlier comments. He also made a good point that is worth repeating: It's not just about the power that you buy.

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