December 2012-January 2013 Monthly News Round Up

 Wind energy tax credit extended in fiscal cliff deal

The wind may be cold of late in Maine, but it has been blowing favorably from Washington, D.C. for wind energy proponents.
In Tuesday’s fiscal cliff agreement, Congress extended the controversial wind energy tax credit, considered crucial to the struggling wind industry, for one more year.
“The combined events in the recent months creates a positive atmosphere that will foster continued development of the wind and ocean energy markets in Maine adding economic growth and job creation for Maine companies,”
 
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) made the announcement to its members in a letter stating: Importantly, the version of the PTC and ITC extension included in today’s legislation would cover….
 
Statoil and University of Maine get millions in DOE wind energy grants
Two Maine offshore wind energy pilot projects were among the seven awarded up to $4 million in federal grants for engineering, design and permitting by the U.S. Department of Energy December 13. 
The announcement is a boon for offshore wind research and development off Maine’s coast and could lead to further investment in Maine’s offshore wind industry. 
The Maine project recipients include the international energy giant Statoil and the University of Maine at Orono
 
Statoil gets US consent to submit Hywind Maine offshore plan
The US Interior Department (DOI) is moving ahead to process an application from a Statoil subsidiary for a commercial wind energy lease in federal waters off Maine, after finding there is no competitive interest from other developers in the proposed area.
 
New Road Maps Available for Ocean Wind, Tidal and Wave Energy Projects
Following last week's U.S. Department of Energy awards to two Maine offshore wind engineering, site evaluation and planning projects, the Maine Wind Industry Initiative (MWII), the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA), and Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) today released two comprehensive permitting and regulatory road maps for developers of offshore wind, wave and tidal projects in Maine.
The Roadmaps can be found and downloaded from the MWII Homepage at: www.mainewindindustry.com
 
 
The first meeting of the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning Body (RPB) was held in Portland, Maine Nove 19 & 20th.
 The Northeast RPB is charged with leading the process to develop regional ocean plans that build upon existing governmental authorities and planning processes to improve management, siting, and regulatory decisions affecting coastal and ocean resources and uses.
 
 
Maine wind power inches toward generation goals
Wind power generated in Maine is now producing nearly 500 megawatts, enough to supply the average needs of 175,000 households. However, it's still well short of the state's goal for wind generation by 2015.
But new projects that are in conceptual stages, under regulatory review or approved but facing challenges could catapult the state to half of its wind-power goal of 2,000 megawatts by 2015. The Legislature has set that goal for installed wind power capacity, along with 3,000 megawatts by 2020.
 
DEP plans public hearing for Bowers Mountain wind proposal
CARROLL PLANTATION, Maine — The state’s top environmental agency will hold a public hearing to help determine whether to permit an industrial wind site proposed for Bowers Mountain, a spokeswoman said Thursday.
 
Maine town to hold special meeting on wind transmission plan
Selectmen in Parkman, Maine, agreed to hold a special town meeting on Feb. 2 to discuss First Wind's proposal to build a transmission line corridor that would carry power from its wind turbines in Somerset County to Central Maine Power's substation in Parkman. If the town signs off on the plan, First Wind and Parkman would proceed toward establishing a community benefits package that would allow the town to receive $20,000 annually for 20 years from the company.
 
Sewall Opens Office in Portland, Maine
Regional base to offer expanded engineering, natural resource, and GIS consulting services
(Old Town, Maine—12 December 2012).  Sewall has opened a new office in Portland, Maine, to provide engineering, natural resource and GIS consulting services to clients in southern Maine and central New England.