News Updates

More Solar Power for Loring in Limestone
12/05/2014 - 7:08pm

depiction of Loring II solar development in Limestone Maine image courtesy of Maine Solar EngineeringOn December 5, 2014, the Loring Development Authority of Limestone, Maine and The Power Company of Washington, Maine announced that construction had begun on a 200 KW solar energy project, named “Loring Solar II” on the former Loring Air Force base, which closed in 1994.

Under the terms of a special lease agreement, LDA will act as host and off-taker of the electricity. In exchange, LDA leases the equipment and realizes a net saving in electric costs.

Loring Solar II will consist of 30 dual-axis-tracking devices. Combined with Loring Solar I, the 2 projects will produce approximately 385 MWh per year, enough to off-set 250 tons of carbon production annually.

Read the full story in the Bangor Daily News.

Sun Edison Buys First Wind
12/05/2014 - 6:08pm

Sun Edison logoOn November 18, 2014, North American Windpower announced that the global solar company SunEdison Inc. and its yieldco subsidiary, TerraForm Power, have signed a definitive agreement to acquire First Wind, a Boston-based developer, owner and operator of U.S. wind projects, for $2.4 billion.

TerraForm Power will acquire First Wind’s 521 MW operating portfolio, including many projects in Maine. Read an in-depth analysis of the possible implications of this sale in the Bangor Daily News.

ORPC Proves Concept of New Tidal Generation Device
11/03/2014 - 10:26pm

Photo of OCGen Prototype Buoyancy Pod Chassis and 2 Turbines June 2014 photo courtesy of ORPCOn October 29, 2014, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland, Maine announced that it has concluded its OCGen® Module Mooring Project in Cobscook Bay, Maine. The trial successfully both proved the stability of the prototype OCGen® device in reversing tidal currents and confirmed the loading and performance of its innovative tensioned mooring system.

"We believe the prototype OCGen® device is the first installation anywhere of a floating hydrokinetic device held at a fixed location in the water column using a tensioned mooring and anchoring system," said ORPC President & CEO Chris Sauer.

Read the full story in our blog post.

Image credit: OCGen® Prototype Buoyancy Pod Chassis and 2 Turbines June 2014 photo courtesy of ORPC.

Two DOE Research Grants Go to Maine Projects
10/08/2014 - 1:47pm

US Secretary of Energy Dr Ernest Moniz courtesy of US-DOE After losing its bid for a $47million grant in May, the University of Maine-led consortium behind the planned Aqua Ventus offshore wind pilot project has been awarded a $3.8 million cooperative research grant to continue the design and engineering work on its 6 MW VolturnUS floating turbine, connected to the grid in Castine.

Read the whole story from North American Windpower.

Also in September, the Biodiversity Research Institute of Gorham, Maine heard it will receive $1.1 million to develop a stereo-optic camera system to detect and document bird and bat flight behavior in the vicinity of wind turbines, using near-infrared cameras and specialized software to detect animal movements in both the day and night. The project will help researchers better understand potential environmental impacts of wind turbines.

Read the DOE announcement here.

Image credit: US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz courtesy of US-DOE

UMaine Expands Ocean Energy Testing Capabilities
10/08/2014 - 12:32pm

drawing of the W2 wind and water testing facility at the University of Maine at Orono Advanced Structures and Composites CenterConstruction is underway on an addition to UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC). Called W2, this unique wave-wind basin will allow UMaine researchers to test offshore structures under differing wave and wind environments.

Testing at the W2 facility will be applied to renewable energy projects (such as offshore wind, wave, tidal, and current technologies), shipbuilding, offshore drilling and coastal climate change effects modeling. Completion by May 2015 is expected.

Read the whole story from UMaine.

Image credit: University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center

Maine's First Community Solar Farm
10/08/2014 - 8:57am

Revision Energy workers install solar panels at Maines first community solar farm in Paris Maine image courtesy of Revision EnergyAfter nearly two years in development, ReVision Energy has started construction of Maine’s first community solar farm (CSF) at Sunnycroft Farm in Paris, Maine. The CSF is one type of community solar model, inspired by Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). Community solar allows the construction of a large solar electric array that is co-owned by a group of solar customers who live elsewhere; the array can be located anywhere that has good solar exposure.

Read a great article in the Portland Press Herald. Read more about community energy here.

Photo courtesy of Revision Energy.

Pika Energy Receives Grant
08/10/2014 - 12:38pm

Joshua Kaufman Director of Research and Development and Co-Founder of Pika Energy image courtesy of Pika EnergyPika Energy of Gorham, Maine announced on July 25, 2014 that it has been selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to receive $700,000 for two projects designed to improve the competitiveness of residential wind turbines and wind-solar hybrid systems.

One project will focus on improving the manufacturing process for its wind turbines to reduce cost, while the second will scale up key turbine components to capture more energy.

Read the full announcement on Pika's website.

Photo credit: Joshua Kaufman, Director of Research and Development and Co-Founder, Pika Energy, courtesy of Pika Energy.

Taking Energy from Waste to a New Level
08/09/2014 - 5:08pm

a Trashanol plant in Virginia courtesy of FiberightThe Municipal Review Committee, a non-profit that manages the solid waste needs of 187 communities in and around Penobscot County, is entertaining a proposal from the Maryland company, Fiberight, to extract energy and other resources from its waste.

Fiberight proposes to build a zero-sort recycling and trash-fed fuel processing and engineered fuels facility that would make ethanol or biogas (coined, "Trashanol") from the food and other organic materials in the waste stream. A similar process is being pioneered by Old Town Fuel & Fiber in Orono.

Read more in the Bangor Daily News and on the Fiberight website.

Image: a "Trashanol" plant in Virginia, courtesy of Fiberight.

Tidal Range Power Project Proposed
08/09/2014 - 4:09pm

The Halcyon Tidal Power Pennamaquan facility is almost entirely submerged and will have both the appearance and function of a footbridge. Image courtesy of Halcyon Tidal Power.Halcyon Tidal Power met with some hard questions at public hearings in Pembroke, Washington County on August 8 when it presented a proposal to build a 1,616-foot-long tidal “barrage” (low dam) across the Pennamaquan River between Leighton Neck and Hersey Neck. The $125 million project would use tidal range power technology to generate an estimated 80,000 mWh of power annually from tidal forces in the Cobscook Bay.

For a full description of the project and hearings, see articles in the Bangor Daily News. Read a description of the tidal range power technology from the company.

PUC Re-Approves Giant Wind Pact
08/09/2014 - 3:55pm

Wind turbines atop Stetson Mountain, Maine photo by Kay MannOn July 22, 2014, the Maine Public Utilities Commission re-approved a "deal" between First Wind and Emera Maine, which would allow Emera to own shares in wind plants built under a joint venture called Northeast Wind Partners.

The MPUC had first approved this deal in April of 2012. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court vacated the approval in March of 2014, asserting that it violated the intention of the Electricity Restructuring Act, which prohibited transmission and delivery utilities from owning power generation resources. Upon re-consideration of the deal, the PUC approved it again; intervenors may appeal again.

Read the full story from the Pine Tree Watchdog.