Maine Wind & Ocean News Wrap up for July-Aug '14


Regulators OK Emera investment in First Wind
Using new guidance from the state supreme court, Maine utility regulators on Tuesday approved for a second time a deal that gave Canadian utility Emera a stake in First Wind, the state's largest wind developer.
The court in March ordered the Maine Public Utilities Commission to re-examine a deal in which Nova Scotia-based Emera invested more than $300 million to have a 49 percent stake in Boston-based First Wind's Northeast project portfolio.
Maine's Two Largest Utilities Agree to Co-develop Transmission Projects in New England
Projects would boost capacity; improve access to new renewable generation.
Maine's two largest utilities have agreed to jointly develop electric transmission projects to enhance the strength and capacity of the state's bulk power grid and improve access for new generation resources.
Emera Maine and Central Maine Power (CMP) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for joint project development which identified a number of potential projects that could be developed together. The projects would improve links between southern New England and northern Maine, where more than 2,100 megawatts of wind power development have been proposed. The agreement between the utilities comes in response to a call by the six New England governors for investments in the region's energy infrastructure to diversify the energy portfolio and gain access to new renewable energy resources.
Wind energy utility leasing more than 7,000 acres of land Down East
Atlantic Wind, a subsidiary of a global utility business, has leased thousands of acres in two Maine coastal communities and is gathering data to assess the feasibility of a wind energy project there.
Atlantic Wind has leased a little more than 7,200 acres in Washington County, including about 4,200 in Whiting and 2,900 in Trescott, according to Paul Copleman, a spokesman for Iberdrola Renewables, the parent company of Atlantic Wind.
Clifton voters approve amended land use rules for Pisgah Mountain wind project
Residents voted 210-138 in favor of a series of land use ordinance amendments prompted by a controversial plan to develop a five-turbine wind farm atop Pisgah Mountain.
In the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s vote, proponents of the land use ordinance amendments said the changes would strengthen the town’s already stringent wind energy rules to provide more protections to residents.
Pisgah Mountain LLC’s Paul Fuller said in a recent interview that he and his development partners supported the amendments. “This is a great victory for the town of Clifton, and it’s a great victory for Pisgah Mountain LLC,” Fuller said Tuesday night of the referendum results.
Groton Wind sound tests pass muster for committee
GROTON — The amount of sound emitted by the Groton Wind facility in town and in surrounding towns is within the state’s guidelines for such projects, according to a contractor that just conducted tests for the owners of Groton Wind.
Ocean Planning Group Plans Stakeholder Use
The Northeast Regional Planning Body (NRPB) met June 25-26 for a Natural Resources Workshop and goal-setting meeting in Cambridge, Mass. The workshop focused on how marine science could be included in NRPB goals. Setting baseline marine habitat conditions in the northeast has been listed as an important goal for the Planning Body and its role within a National Ocean Policy.
For further reading and links to the science and funding of the NRPB process and some of the individuals involved in regional plans for a National Ocean Policy click here for a list of links.