Maine Wind & Ocean News Wrap up for April-May 2015

Chewonki Semester School Victorious in Maine Wind Blade Challenge

The 7th annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge featured innovative approaches by high school students that pushed the limits of wind blade designs. The event celebrated successes from all students applying their knowledge resulting in the team from Chewonki taking first place, Easton High School placed second and Orono High School's Team 2 placed third out of 41 registered teams.
 
The 2015 competition also featured innovative approaches including an electric variable pitch system and a planetary gearing systems created with 3D printers.
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Maine wind energy advocates unveil study touting industry’s benefits
Proponents of Maine’s wind-power industry Tuesday touted a new study that reportedly shows positive impacts on health and the environment from the industry’s growth in the Pine Tree State.
“This study confirms what we have long known, but have never seen quantified in this level of detail,” Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, said.
Payne said the study, completed by the New Hampshire-based Sustainable Energy Advantage, analyzed the output of Maine’s entire wind turbine fleet.
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Maine tidal power company establishes foothold in Ireland for expansion into Europe
A tidal power company that's running demonstration projects in Maine and Alaska is establishing an office in Ireland, where the company sees an opportunity for community-based projects that could open the door to the broader market in Europe, officials said Thursday.
 
Portland-based Ocean Renewable Power Company is setting up a subsidiary, ORPC Ireland LLC, in County Donegal at the Business Centre at Letterkenny Institute of Technology.
 
The company aims to establish small projects of 1 to 5 megawatts in northwestern Ireland, where County Donegal is home to the country's largest fishing port and miles of rural coastline reminiscent of eastern Maine, said John Ferland, vice president for project development in Portland.
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State high court overturns ruling, clears DEP in island wind case
The state high court overturned a lower court ruling Thursday that had chastised the Department of Environmental Protection’s commissioner for loosening noise requirements for the island’s wind turbines.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the DEP’s decision to enter into an agreement with Fox Islands Wind rather than push for further conditions was supported by substantial evidence and was within the agency’s discretion.
The ruling was a blow to neighbors who had complained that the three nearly 400-foot-tall wind turbines, erected in 2009, were exceeding noise standards.
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Senator with energy chops champions 'disruptive' technology
Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine has emerged as a champion for new technologies taking hold of the U.S. electric grid with legislation that could shake up a decades-old business model in the utility sector.
"This is disruptive technology. It's going to change the model that's been in place for a hundred years," King said during an interview yesterday. "Basically, we want to be sure this technology has a chance to grow."
The "The Free Market Energy Act of 2015" would ensure that distributed energy resources would be able to connect to the grid in a reasonable time frame and for just and reasonable fees. It would also lay the groundwork for states to appoint smart grid "coordinators" or operators to manage the distributed units and calls on states to consider alternatives to building transmission -- including distributed energy.
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SunEdison abandons talks for 73-MW wind PPA in Maine – report
US company SunEdison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) will be looking for new buyers for the output of a planned 73-MW wind farm in the state of Maine after regulators decided to rethink the terms of a 25-year PPA for the project.
John Lamontagne, a spokesman for SunEdison, told Bangor Daily News that the company is not dropping the 73-MW project in Hancock County. It will just look for another power purchaser.
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Gardiner students try their hands at solar and wind power
High school students used solar- and wind-powered cars as part of an educational program developed by Northwestern University to spark interest in STEM fields.
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SunEdison circles Maine wind site
SunEdison subsidiary Somerset Wind is laying the groundwork for a potential wind project in northern Maine.
The developer - formerly part of First Wind, which SunEdison and TerraForm bought in January - has applied to state regulators for permission to erect six met masts on land owned by Plum Creek Maine Timberlands in Somerset County.
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Report on Maine renewable portfolio standard in 2013
The Maine Public Utilities Commission has issued a report on Maine's use of renewable electricity in 2013.  The report shows the impact of Maine's renewable portfolio standard, a state law requiring electricity suppliers to source specified percentages of their electricity from “new” renewable resources.
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