Maine Wind and Ocean Energy News Wrap up, January to February, 2013

UMaine, MMA set to deploy prototype floating wind turbine in Castine

 Starting this spring, Castine Harbor will be the temporary home to cutting-edge wind energy technology created here in Maine.

A one-eighth scale prototype of a floating deep-sea wind turbine developed at the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine will be placed in the harbor, just off Dyce Head, sometime in April. This will be the first operating offshore wind turbine in the US generating electricity for the grid.

The floating turbine tower has a total height of 57 feet, according to documents from the U.S. Department of Energy. Its floating radius will leave it 500 to 1,000 feet west of Dyce Head, attached to three mooring lines and anchored in 100-foot-deep water.

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Pioneering Maine offshore wind project passes 'biggest hurdle'

The utilities agency OKs contract terms for a $120 million floating turbine test off Maine.

Maine's Public Utilities Commission has approved the terms of a project proposal by a Norwegian energy giant that could make Maine a global leader in research and development of offshore wind power.

The four floating wind turbines Norwegian energy company Statoil wants to site 12 miles off Boothbay Harbor would look similar to the Hywind test turbine, now producing power off the coast of Norway.

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First Wind Gambles On PTC Extension - And Wins

Faced with the prospect of being saddled with wind energy assets unable to be financed, many wind developers abruptly halted projects that could not be completed in time to qualify for the wind energy production tax credit (PTC), which was slated to expire at the end of last year.

However, in looking over its portfolio, Boston-based developer First Wind realized that several of its projects were in the latter stages of development and were too important to merely be put on hold, explains Matt Kearns, First Wind's vice president of development.

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 GE software to boost two Maine wind farms

GE will install its WindCONTROL advanced software to help maximize energy output at two First Wind projects in Maine that feature a total of 95 GE wind turbines.

The GE technology will regulate curtailment by monitoring and controlling the wind turbines' ramp rates, effectively easing power spikes and putting less strain on the turbine compared to constant starts and stops.

The two Maine-based wind farms that will be upgraded with GE's WindCONTROL technology are located in Rollins and Stetson. The Rollins site has 40 GE 1.5-77 turbines while Stetson contains 55 1.5-77 turbines. Both projects were developed by First Wind.

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Sewall and RC&A Sign Teaming Agreement for Aerial Imagery and LiDAR.

RC&A to focus on data acquisition; Sewall on downstream processing and analysis

(Old Town, Maine—15 January 2013).  Sewall and its long-term aerial subcontractor Richard Crouse & Associates, Inc. (RC&A), have entered into a teaming agreement to expand mutual capabilities, services and client base in aerial image and LiDAR data acquisition.

Under the terms of the agreement, RC&A will lease Sewall’s aircraft and associated aerial equipment, positioning the firm to provide faster mobilization across a broader geography to both Sewall and its existing clientele.

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