Maine Wind News Round up for August 2011

A brief news round up with links to full articles.


University Of Maine Receives Grant To Develop Longer Offshore Wind Blades

The U.S. Commerce Department has awarded a $3 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to the University of Maine to help equip the Offshore Wind Energy Laboratory at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center with state-of-the-art wind energy technology.

According to the EDA, the project will establish the U.S.' only facility capable of designing, manufacturing and testing prototype wind blades of up to 70 meters in length.


Department of the Interior Secretary Salazar visits the Advanced Structures and Composites Center

Senator Susan Collins invited U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Salazar to see first-hand the deepwater offshore wind research at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Dr. Habib Dagher led Salazar, Collins, Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Ned Farquhar, Director of National Park Services John Jarvis, Director of the Maine Office of Energy Independence Ken Fletcher, and University of Maine President Paul Ferguson through the new Offshore Wind Laboratory. The tour highlighted the laboratory’s capabilities and the progress of the DeepCwind Consortium’s Research Program.

After the tour, Secretary Salazar expressed to the students, staff, and press his impressions of the tour. With new understanding of the economical, academic, and industrial potentials of deepwater offshore wind, Salazar promised to help streamline the leasing of federal waters for research and development of test sites and farms. “I don’t want to wait six months and I don’t want to wait a year,” he said. “Time is of the essence.”

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Plarad and NMCC train using advanced Tool Systems

Following up an a significant donation of advanced torque wrench systems to the Northern Maine Community College Wind Turbine Technician Program, Plarad visited NMCC this August to train staff on proper use of the tools. The tools are some of the most advanced in the industry and are design to capture labor efficiencies while ensuring quality and providing a automatic record of work completed.

For more on Plarad tools,;


Maine Maritime Museum hosts wind exhibition

History has a way of repeating itself as a new age of harnessed wind has begun on the Maine coast.

From staff reports

BATH — The latest exhibition at the Maine Maritime Museum, 243 Washington St., demonstrates how for centuries, Maine residents have harnessed wind to propel commerce and how the desire for environmentally friendly energy sources has us turning toward the wind yet again. "Aloft! Topsails to Turbines" is on view from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Nov. 27.


Or for more information: 443-1316;


Record Hill Wind Components Arrive

WEST PARIS — A 240-foot wind turbine tower headed north on Route 26 recently was the third of 22 headed to the Record Hill wind project in Roxbury.

The towers, bases and blades are now being transported as they arrive by ship in Searsport, just northeast of Belfast on the Midcoast.

The wind farm is expected to produce 122 million kilowatt hours per year. The project was approved by the Department of Environmental Protection in 2009 and is expected to be producing green energy by the end of the year.


Maine Wind Project Wins $102 Million U.S. Loan Guarantee

The U.S. Department of Energy finalized a $102 million loan guarantee that will support construction of a 50.6-megawatt wind power plant and an 8-mile-long transmission line in Maine.

The Record Hill Wind project plans to add advanced sensor systems and processing technology to 22-turbines, which will allow them to operate in rough weather when other turbines would have to shut down.


Hurricane Irene and its Impact on Wind Farms

In the past decade, wind turbines have sprouted up along the East Coast in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. As more wind farms are built in coastal areas and even offshore a common question has been: How will turbines withstand hurricanes? Through the anecdotal stories below, we can conclude that wind turbines along the East Coast performed exceptionally well before, during and after Irene.