Wednesday, 15 January 2014Public Utilities Commission Chairman Thomas Welch listed Maine’s “daunting geologic, geographic and demographic challenges” when discussing the price of energy at a recent Portland Chamber of Commerce breakfast.
Maine does not sit atop coal, gas or oil reserves, Welch noted. We don’t have huge dams built and run by the federal government. “We like to live a long way from each other,” he said, making the cost of infrastructure and transportation high. And, he concluded, “it can be very cold up here for a long time.”
The high cost of heat and electricity ships billions out of state every year and puts our industry at a disadvantage. Reducing the costs of heating, lighting and operating equipment should be a major goal of state policy and crucial to our economic future. But with that end in mind, the state should be willing to take on a small increase in electric rates if it would do something in the long run about our energy disadvantages. The Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project is such an opportunity.
Courtesy of Portland Press Herald. Read more here.
Wednesday, 15 January 2014HALLOWELL, Maine (AP) _ A panel of state regulators is poised to vote on a proposal to build a 12-megawatt wind project off the coast of Maine.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to grant initial approval for a state contract to the University of Maine and its partner companies, called Maine Aqua Ventus.
Courtesy of MPBN. Read more here.
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Cape Wind is probably the most famous wind farm in America, which is especially telling since it doesn't exist. The planned 130 turbines in Massachusetts's Nantucket Sound have been controversial enough to receive national attention — both support and protest — ever since developers announced the project in 2001. After years of legal wrangling, community protests and regulatory hoop-jumping, its future is still uncertain. Cape Wind's promoters refer to it as "America's first offshore wind farm," yet not a single turbine has thus far been erected.
Meanwhile, this summer, two tugboats quietly hauled the first working offshore-wind turbine in America into place off the coast of Maine. Designed by the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine, the turbine is 65 feet high and painted bright yellow. Built 28 miles inland in Brewer, Maine, then towed down the Penobscot River, it currently floats in the blue waters off the coast of a small town called Castine, where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. The university named its turbine the VolturnUS, after the Roman god of the east wind and because of the pleasing combination of the terms "volt," "turn," and "US." In June, the university held a ceremony connecting the turbine to the U.S. power grid, with luminaries joining their voices in a sci-fi-inflected shout: "Energize, VolturnUS!"
To read more, click here.
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