Maine Ocean & Wind News Wrap Up for September 2015

 

Analysis: Outlook shifting for offshore wind farms
 
Clean-energy advocates and many business leaders were dismayed last year when the federal Department of Energy passed over Maine for a $47 million grant to help build an experimental floating wind farm. Instead, competitors in New Jersey, Virginia and Oregon won the awards, dashing dreams of kick-starting a multibillion-dollar deep-water wind power industry off the Maine coast. In hindsight, maybe it wasn't the worst thing. Fifteen months later, the three proposals that beat out Maine's venture are in trouble. Each is stalled because either regulators or utilities have balked at the high cost of building the projects or producing the power. None was able to sign a power purchase agreement for generation by July 31, a condition for getting the $47 million. None can meet a target date of being online by 2017.
 
SunEdison considering another Somerset County wind project
 
Energy company SunEdison is testing wind conditions in the Misery Ridge area of Somerset County with possible plans to build a 26-turbine commercial wind farm there.
The company installed two meteorological towers in the area this week on land owned by Plum Creek, a forest management company, in the northeastern part of the county near Moosehead Lake. No application has been submitted to the Department of Environmental Protection for the project yet.
 
Wind Energy Startup Altaeros Energies Raises Funding from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Suhail Bahwan Group
 
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries ("MHI") and the Suhail Bahwan Group ("SBG") have invested in Altaeros Energies, a Massachusetts-based technology company, to support the design and production of its Buoyant Airborne Turbine ("BAT") renewable energy and communication platform.
MHI and SBG bring deep strategic expertise in developing and executing large technology projects for industrial and government customers around the world. The Altaeros BAT offers a multi-purpose platform to supply power, telecommunication, and other sensing and security services to remote and off-grid customers.


 
ORPC Ireland Ltd. to assess tidal energy feasibility in County Donegal   

 

      
ORPC Ireland Ltd., a subsidiary of Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Co., has been selected by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to conduct a feasibility assessment to identify tidal energy opportunities suitable for development in the coastal waters of County Donegal, Ireland.

Through its Ocean Energy Prototype Development Fund, SEAI seeks to stimulate the development and deployment of ocean energy devices and systems. ORPC Ireland opened an office this spring in County Donegal on Ireland's northwest coast to capitalize on that region's interest in the company's renewable marine energy technology and expertise

 
Maine stands to benefit from Obama's emissions plan, exceed expectations
 
The Obama administration earlier this month unveiled the nation's first set of rules regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Some of the loudest cheers for these rules, labeled the Clean Power Plan, should be coming from Maine.
Monday's air quality alert from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection warning residents of unhealthy levels of ozone served as a case in point. According to the DEP, the high concentration of ground-level ozone was the result of "air emissions being transported from states located to our southwest."
 
Maine monitors bid to transmit power from Quebec through NH
 
Energy sector officials in New Hampshire took another swing on Tuesday at landing a share of a lucrative energy contract with southern New England states in an impending bidding war that is likely to attract companies from Maine.
 
The Northern Pass project would transmit power generated by hydroelectric plants in Quebec through New Hampshire. The 192-mile energy transmission cable plan has been under development for years but has encountered resistance because of the environmental impact it would have in the White Mountain National Forest, the Appalachian Trail and Franconia Notch, among other scenic recreation areas.