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Wind Power News: Maine


These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch. They are the products of and owned by the organizations or individuals noted and are shared here according to “fair use” and “fair dealing” provisions of copyright law.

January 14, 2021 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Fishermen say Mills’ offshore wind plan is short-circuiting input process

A coalition of fishing communities last week sent a letter to Gov. Janet Mills expressing concern about proposed offshore wind energy development in the Gulf of Maine. The coalition, called Responsible Offshore Development Alliance and based in Washington, D.C., asked the Mills administration to prioritize “an inclusive planning process and research program over the rapid implementation of commercial-scale OSW [offshore wind] facilities.” The Maine Lobstermen’s Association, Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association, and a number of Maine-based fishermen are members of the . . . Complete story »

January 6, 2021 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

As rumors swirl of large-scale turbine farm, fishermen worry about rapid pace of wind development

Maine fishermen say that Gov. Janet Mills’ plan for a state-led offshore wind project is being rushed. And now news that a developer is considering a new commercial-scale wind project off the coast is adding to their fears. In late November, the Mills administration announced that the state would seek a federal lease for up to 12 floating wind turbines off southern Maine that could produce enough energy for more than 70,000 homes. “We think there’s a real opportunity for . . . Complete story »

January 5, 2021 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Unprecedented wave of solar development spurs land rush in Maine

It’s too early to say whether large-scale solar development in Maine will bring about the broader public pushback that accompanied the expansion of commercial, land-based wind power in the 2010s. But it’s a cautionary tale. The Maine Wind Energy Act of 2008 set up an expedited review process that made it easier for developers to site projects in certain areas. It worked. Today, roughly 20 percent of Maine’s electricity is generated by wind, more than any other New England state. But the view of massive towers on remote ridges, and the sound of whirling blades from projects too close to homes, dampened some of the initial political and public enthusiasm around wind power. In 2018, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage enacted a moratorium on new wind projects. That ban was overturned by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills when she took office a year later. Complete story »

December 10, 2020 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Federal report raises offshore wind concerns, Mills administrations says Maine project is ‘much different’

PORTLAND, Maine – The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report Tuesday raising questions about the creation of offshore wind energy. Issues raised by the GAO, a nonpartisan federal agency that provides information to Congress, stem from the Jones Act which requires certain commercial ships to be built and registered in the U.S. The Mills administration says concerns raised in the report are not as applicable to a project planned off Maine’s coast as they are to other planned installations. In . . . Complete story »

December 3, 2020 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Maine governor pitches offshore wind power project, but fishermen see drawbacks

Gov. Janet Mills is moving ahead with an ambitious green power project to create the nation’s first offshore wind power system devoted solely to research. Mills said the project, which would involve up to a dozen floating windmills about 40-miles off the coast, would be the first devoted entirely to researching how to develop the technology in a sustainable way that doesn’t impact the state’s commercial fishing industry. “I believe Maine can lead the country in floating offshore wind technology,” . . . Complete story »

November 21, 2020 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Proposal would build 16-square-mile wind farm off Maine coast

Gov. Janet Mills on Friday announced an ambitious, state-led effort to build as many as 12 floating wind-energy turbines off Maine’s coast. Mills is on the hunt for a location for the array, in partnership with the University of Maine and the big-money investors behind the pioneering Aqua Ventus turbine experiment near Monhegan Island. But that’s got some fishermen worried. The effort to win a so-called research lease from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will be led by . . . Complete story »

November 4, 2020 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Maine PUC denies reconsideration of disputed clean-energy contracts

With no discussion, the Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday unanimously denied a motion to reconsider the awards of disputed renewable-energy contracts. In brief remarks, commission Chairman Philip Bartlett said the contracts were awarded fairly and legally. The two other commissioners agreed. At issue was a dispute over Maine’s largest-ever procurement of renewable-power contracts, and whether they all would be able to be built on time and deliver the promised low rate and clean-energy benefits to Maine utility customers. The . . . Complete story »

November 3, 2020 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

Developers denied Maine clean energy contracts question selection process

Maine’s largest-ever procurement of renewable-power contracts was hailed in September as a historic step on a path to reaching ambitious climate change goals. But today, those contracts are under fire from two dissatisfied developers. The developers question whether the selection process was flawed, whether customers will get the lowest possible rates and whether some of the winning projects could be delayed or never built. Boston-based Longroad Energy is asking the Maine Public Utilities Commission, which granted the awards after an . . . Complete story »

October 27, 2020 • MainePrint storyE-mail story

PUC Commission OK’s wind and solar projects

CLIFTON – The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved contracts for 17 renewable power projects on Sept. 22, including a 20-megawatt (MW) wind farm known as Silver Maple Wind in Clifton and a 100-MW solar project in Hancock known as Three Rivers Solar. The PUC approved a contract for SWEB Development’s Silver Maple Wind that includes two options: one where the company sells the electricity it generates for $34.30 per megawatt hour (MWh), increasing by 2 percent each year, and a . . . Complete story »

October 16, 2020 • Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, VermontPrint storyE-mail story

Mills joins push for region’s electric grid operations to reflect state climate goals

Gov. Janet Mills has joined four other New England governors to press the operator of the region’s electric grid to do more to accommodate a future in which most people will be encouraged to heat their homes and drive vehicles powered with electricity generated by renewable resources. In a statement issued Wednesday to grid operator ISO-New England, the governors of Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Rhode Island said operation of the grid and the current wholesale electricity market must be . . . Complete story »

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