Maine Ocean & Wind News Wrap Up for November 2015

 

Orrington substation sees upgrade for wind farm in Bingham

 

 
The $398 million, 62-turbine Bingham wind farm is owned by Blue Sky West and Blue Sky West II, and will have turbines located in Bingham, Abbot, Parkman, Mayfield Township and Kingsbury Plantation. Both Blue Sky West companies are former subsidiaries of Massachusetts-based wind power developer First Wind, which was purchased in January by SunEdison for $2.4 billion, adding wind farms to the company's solar power portfolio.
 
CMP's $1.4 billion upgrade project on schedule and budget
 
Mainers won't have to bear the brunt of the cost either, said Carroll. About 50 percent of the project is financed through equity from Iberdrola, the Spanish parent company of CMP. The rest is borrowed. CMP will make the money back through ratepayers. Maine ratepayers will be responsible for 8 percent of the project, while other New England customers will pick up the rest. On the flip side, Maine ratepayers are responsible for 8 percent of any ISO New England project, even if it doesn't directly benefit Maine.
 
 
UMaine opens its Advanced Structures and Composites Center 

 

      

Earlier in October, the University of Maine hosted the inaugural "Matthew R. Simmons Memorial Summit: A Technology Roadmap for Floating Offshore Wind." The summit gathered information from various perspectives of platform designers, researchers, turbine OEMs, permitting agencies, and developers with the goal of producing a roadmap that advances the floating offshore wind.
 

Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, announced last month that the Maine Governor's Energy Office (GEO), in partnership with Maine organization E2Tech, has been awarded $284,000 by the U.S. Department of Energy to support the Maine Energy Planning Roadmap project that will establish a stakeholder-driven strategy to meet energy objectives set in the 2015 GEO Comprehensive Energy Plan.
A second grant for $592,000 was awarded for the design of a Regional Roadmap for the increased adoption of local and regional offshore wind policies and projects. This project, led by New York State Energy Research Development Authority, includes the state of Maine.


 
Innovative Study Helps Offshore Wind Developers Protect Wildlife
 
Prepared by the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI), the study provides two years of high-quality baseline data to wind energy regulators, developers, and other stakeholders, which BRI gathered through a mix of methods, including boat and aerial surveys-filling critical information gaps on species distribution and behavior of seabirds, marine mammals, sea turtles, and other species. This extensive study covers more than 7,000 square miles of ocean waters along the Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware coastline where a number of offshore wind projects are moving forward.
 
U.S. Finally Embraces Offshore Wind
 
It has taken decades for the U.S. government to grasps the reality of renewable energies such as offshore wind. The Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded nearly $600 million to New York, Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts for offshore wind projects. And, construction began on Rhode Island's Block Island Farm, the first in the U.S., in July.
The Obama Administration recently voiced the need for the U.S to produce 22,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, which will provide power to about four and a half million households.
 
A Plan for the Future of our Coasts and Oceans

 


 
A plan is taking shape to protect the values of our coasts and oceans for enjoyment and economic activities.  The Northeast Regional Planning Body has been busy gathering input from stakeholders and data about ocean use ahead of its upcoming meeting this November.  At a recent Fall Stakeholder Forum, held October 20th in Durham, NH, they were able to receive opinions and critical information from all types of ocean users.   At the same time, the Northeast Ocean Data Portal continues to be updated with new information from ocean users about how we currently use our coastal areas so that we can adequately plan for the future. 

Results from the recent forum as well as an update on the data portal will be shared prior to the next Northeast RPB Meeting, which is scheduled for November 16th and 17th in Portland, ME at the Westin Portland Harborview and is open to the public.  This will be a time to hear about permitting changes that will result from agency coordination in the new plan, which is set to be released in March of 2016 for public comment.