Maine Wind News Round up for April-May 2013

UMaine unveils unique base for floating wind turbine that could provide glimpse into future
 
The University of Maine unveiled the floating platform of VolturnUS, a one-of-a-kind offshore wind turbine that officials hope will shape the future of energy in Maine, during a ceremony Wednesday.
Later this month, the unit will be disassembled, trucked to Cianbro in Brewer, and put back together before the entire upright turbine is hauled down the Penobscot River to a spot off the coast of Castine. VolturnUS will be the first grid-connected floating wind turbine in North America and the first concrete-composite floating turbine in the world, according to Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center.
 
 
Progress Report: Seven US Offshore Wind Demonstration Projects
Ahead of the AWEA Windpower event in Chicago, a Webinar from the Department of Energy (DoE) provided an update on the potential for offshore wind energy in the U.S. with a state-by-state progress report, as well as seven DoE-backed demonstration projects preparing to explore various types of technologies to simplify the costs and efficiency of offshore-generated wind energy.
Out of a calculated 4,150 GW of offshore wind energy resource potential, the DoE's Wind Powering America initiative aims to achieve 54 GW by 2030, translating to roughly 10,000 offshore turbines averaging at least 5 MW each, and roughly 4 percent of the nation's electricity capacity, explained Greg Matzat, senior advisor for the DOE's offshore wind office of wind and water power technologies. That could also support several hundred thousand jobs in the supply chain and revitalize ports and heavy industries, he added.
 
5th Annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge Results
After 6 months of research, design and manufacturing hundreds of Maine students and teachers from 52 teams brought their wind blade creations to University of Maine to compete in Wind Blade Challenge.
 
Each team worked with teachers and a composite partner to design and manufacture their unique designs. Paul Williamson, Director of Maine Wind Industry Initiative, “the goal of the event is to inspire students’ exploration of alternative energy and composites materials through STEM education. Every year we are impressed with what the students come up with.”
 
Richard Jennings: Health effects of wind towers hyped by media
 
Several recent studies might explain what's going on here. One of them, published in Health Psychology, found that the power of suggestion can induce symptoms associated with wind turbine syndrome.
 
Further study, as demanded by opponents of wind, will appropriately continue, and will take time. Given, however, the well-documented and peer-reviewed evidence thus far, there is no medical contraindication to wind power and, given the crisis of our unstable climate, there is no time for further delay
 
 
Maine Exhibits Leadership in Wind Energy
The Maine Wind Industry Pavilion exhibited with seven Maine Ocean & Wind Industry Initiative (MOWII) Companies at the American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER conference last week in Chicago. Exhibiting companies included Reed & Reed, Delorme, James W. Sewall Co.,  SGC Engineering, Sprague Energy, The Maine Port Authority and The Maine Composites Alliance
The Maine companies exhibited their capabilities to potential clients, The Pavilion hosted a meet and greet industry reception at the booth on the show floor, and MOWII presented Maine’s development of onshore and offshore technologies to an international investment audience.
"Maine continues to demonstrate high-caliber wind energy capabilities at national and international conventions and has become a serious wind power supply chain resource," explains MOWII Director and Industry Coordinator Paul Williamson. "In fact, Maine hosts a large majority of the wind projects in New England and has received US DOE funding for 2 offshore floating wind demonstration projects."
 
Marine Spatial Planning
On April 12 and 13, the second meeting of the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) was held in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  Major accomplishments from the second meeting included:
 
•              Development of and agreed upon draft goals reflecting tribal, state, federal, and NEFMC priorities around themes of: 1) healthy ocean and coastal ecosystems, 2) compatibility among past, current and future uses, and 3) effective decision making.
•              Operational outcomes - approved charter and 3 year planning timeline. 
•              Affirmed importance of stakeholder engagement with an approved engagement strategy and formation of a working group who will meet over the next month to define options for meaningful and effective participation. 
•              A strengthened working relationship of all RPB members and full participation from all 10 federally recognized tribes.
•              Refined and more frequent public comment opportunities.
 
Outcomes from these discussions including a set of draft goals, the approved charter and planning timeline, along with a meeting summary, video, and public comment transcript are available on the RPB meeting page.
 
At the meeting, updates were also provided for ongoing efforts to engage with marine industry representatives from energy, aquaculture, and maritime commerce sectors as well as work to characterize patterns of activities like commercial fishing and recreational boating.  Throughout the two-day meeting, there were several opportunities for public input, and the Northeast RPB heard from a number of stakeholders and interested parties.
 
Public meetings are being planned for May and June as an important next step to review draft goals and present maps and recent engagement workshop feedback and discussion.  More information on these upcoming workshops will be available on the RPB meeting page.