News Updates

Alternative Fueling Station Finder App for iPhone Released
11/14/2013 - 4:08pm

Pearson Fuels in San Diego offers multiple alternative fuel options image Courtesy of DOE/NRELOn November 7, 2013, the US-DOE's Clean Cities announced the launch of a free iPhone app that locates fueling stations offering alternative fuels, including electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, E85, propane, and hydrogen. Developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the app is available for download through Apple's App Store.

Read more from Clean Cities. Image courtesy of DOE/NREL.

Augusta Civic Center to be Heated by the Sun
11/07/2013 - 9:45pm

A graphical rendering of the solar wall at the Augusta Civic Center courtesy of Shift Energy LLC of Biddeford, MaineJust in time for winter, New England Energy Solutions of Brunswick is installing wall-mounted solar heating units from Shift Energy LLC of Biddeford on the south wall of the Augusta Civic Center. The 4,350-square-foot installation is expected to pay for itself in under 12 years in avoided propane heating costs. The heating panels are manufactured in Magog, Quebec by Enerconcept Technologies.

Read an in-depth description of this project in Mainebiz.    Image couretsy of Shift Energy LLC.

Maine's First Solar Habitat for Humanity House Completed
10/17/2013 - 5:04pm

Waterville Area Habitat for Humanity logoOn October 3, 2013, the Waterville chapter of Habitat for Humaniy announced that it had completed New England's first solar home, built though the power of volunteers. An open house was held on October 6 at the home on Oakland, where the sun  will provide about 50 percent of the energy needed to heat water and 90 percent of the home’s electricity needs.

Read more in the Kennebec Journal and on the Habitat for Humanity site.

Bowdoin Shoots for the Sun
10/15/2013 - 4:26pm

The roofs of Farley Field House (foreground) and Watson Arena (right) would be used to generate 600 kW of solar power, with another 700kW generated from solar panels located on land owned by the College at the former Brunswick Naval Air StationBowdoin College has proposed to install the largest solar array in Maine: 1,300-kilowatts, atop the roofs of the Farley Field House and Watson Arena and on land recently acquired at Brunswick Landing. If approved, the college would partner with SolarCity Corp. of California to install and operate the system, which would offset about 8% of its annual power needs.

Read more on the Bowdoin Daily Sun blog.

Photo courtesy of Bowdoin College

Statoil Closes Hywind Maine Project
10/15/2013 - 2:23pm

a floating offshore wind turbine built by Statoil of Norway and as had been proposed for installation in the Gulf of Maine by StatoilOn Octoer 15, 2013, Statoil of Norway announced that it had decided to exit the offshore wind power market in Maine, saying, "Changes in the framework conditions in the state, uncertainty around the commercial framework, and the schedule implications of project delays made the project outlook too uncertain to proceed", and “Regardless of our exit in Maine, we will continue to explore the US offshore wind market. The US holds several locations with good wind conditions, deep waters and proximity to load centers.”

For further information, see Statoil's news archive, the Bangor Daily News or Mainebiz.

UMaine Ordered to Reveal Parts of Offshore Wind Proposal
10/10/2013 - 4:20pm

Volturn US a prototype floating deepwater offshore wind turbine connected to the Maine power grid as part of the Maine Aqua Ventus project of the University of Maine Orono in waters off Castine Maine photo courtesy of University of MaineOn October 8, 2013, the Associated Press reported that the Maine Public Utilities Commission ruled 2-1 that Maine Aqua Ventus (or MAV, a name referring to the University of Maine and its project partners) must reveal some of the details of a proposal to build a prototype offshore wind power installation in the Gulf of Maine. Environmental groups and lawmakers have objected to the non-public proposal submitted to the PUC in September, while MAV has held that confidentiality will be key to its securing a $46 million federal grant.

Read the full story on Photo courtesy of University of Maine.

Efficiency Maine Announces New Home Heating Incentives
09/19/2013 - 3:40pm

Efficiency Maine logoJust in time for winter to begin, Efficiency Maine has rolled out a new suite of incentives to help Maine homeowners to heat their homes more affordably. These incentives from Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) will help offset the cost of air sealing, insulation, qualified heating systems, and in some cases, energy assessments.

The new offerings were made possible by requirements in the recently passed Omnibus Energy Bill, to redirect 35% of auction revenues that the State receives from its participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative toward helping homeowners cost-effectively reduce heating demands.

Further details on the programs are on Efficiency Maine's website.

Secret Plan for Offshore Wind Pilot Submitted to PUC
09/11/2013 - 12:00pm

University of Maine's Volturn US floating offshore wind turbine the first grid-tied floating wind turbine in the USThe DeepCWind consortium, led by the University of Maine at Orono, has submitted a sealed, 100-page proposal to develop an offshore wind power pilot project to the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC). This follows the legislature's new requirement that there be a competitive process in approval of such projects and Statoil's subsequent pausing of further action on its Hywind pilot wind project off Boothbay Harbor. In June 2013, DeepCWind launched one grid-connected test turbine off the coast of Castine.

The PUC had earlier approved a term sheet for the Hywind project; it will now negotiate terms with the UMaine consortium for a 20-year contract.

Read more at the Portland Press Herald and Mainebiz.

DOE Invests in Maine Tidal Energy Again
09/04/2013 - 2:56pm

Ocean Renewable Power Company's TidGen tidal generator unit just prior to installation in Cobscook Bay off Eastport Maine in 2012.On August 29, 2013, the US Department of Energy announced its award of 2 grants totaling nearly $5 million to Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland for improving its TidGen Power System in waters off Eastport. The first grant, for $1.93 million, will be used to develop a control system that predicts tidal conditions, enabling ORPC to adjust turbine settings for optimal performance in highly turbulent waters. The second grant, for $3 million, will be used to study system components that can help ORPC to develop more efficient tidal, wave, and river current generators.

Read more from Senator King and in the Bangor Daily News. Photo courtesy of ORPC.

Two Approvals, One Rejection for Wind Farms
08/22/2013 - 4:48pm

Wind turbine above trees in MaineOn July 22, 2013, First Wind received approval for an 18-turbine "Hancock Wind" project, extending its Bull Hill Wind project in Hancock county.

On August 2, 2013, Penobscot Forest LLC and Passadumkaeg Windpark LLC received approval to move forward with a 14-turbine wind project on Passadumkeag Mountain, in Penobscot County.

On August 5, 2013, The Board of Environmental Protection denied a proposal by First Wind subsidiary "Champlain Wind" to build a 16-turbine wind power project at Bowers Mountain in Carroll Plantation.