There's a lot of wind blowing like stink all over Maine, and no, it does NOT all blow out of Augusta, either!

Wind Power News

Wind Power in Maine

This is the page for news posts about wind power in Maine.  It is a controversial subject and there is plenty of commentary about it on the blog page for wind power.  Check it out and participate in the dialog there.

wind turbine at university of maine at presque isle

The wind turbine at University of Maine at Presque Isle

MPUC Defers Decision on Net Metering Rule Changes
01/08/2017 - 1:51pm

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities CommissionOn December 19, 2016, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced a delay in handing down a decision about a controversial set of proposed rule changes to Maine’s net metering law.

Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy was quoted as saying, ”This is an important rule and more time is needed to consider the proposed rule in light of the comments we received to ensure that the rule treats all ratepayers in a fair manner. It remains clear that changes in technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar photo-voltaic, require a careful review of the current rule and potential modifications."

The 128th Maine Legislature, which has just opened it 2017 session, will also be considering changes to net metering laws.

Read more in Mainebiz and read the announcement on the MPUC website.

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

UMaine Opens World Class Wind and Wave Testing Facility
12/26/2015 - 7:03pm

the Harold Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Laboratories image courtesy of the University of MaineOn November 23, 2015, the Advanced Structures & Composites Center at the University of Maine at Orono celebrated the opening of the Harold Alfond W2 Ocean Engineering & Advanced Manufacturing Laboratories. This world-class testing laboratory will prototype coastal and offshore structures, including ships, aquaculture facilities, oil and gas structures, and ocean energy devices under extreme wave, wind and current environments.

During the ceremonies, the Harold Alfond Foundation announced a $3.9 million grant to the University of Maine to match $9.98 million already raised for the facility. See photos of the day’s celebration here. Read more in the Bangor Daily News.

Image credit: University of Maine.

Federal Renewable Energy Tax Credits Extended 5 Years
12/26/2015 - 10:59am

solar panels image courtesy of the humble farmerOn December 15, 2015, the US Congress approved an extension of the Residential Renewable Tax Credit, originally set to expire at the end of 2016, for another five years. The tax credit enables homeowners and small businesses to claim 30% of the cost of solar, small wind, fuel cell and geothermal systems against their taxes. 

Read more about the tax credit from the US Department of Energy. Read Senator Charles Schumer’s announcement of the extension in the Westfield Republican.

Image courtesy of the humble Farmer.

Aqua Ventus Wins $3.7 Million Grant
11/22/2015 - 8:02pm

Volturn US prototype wind turbine developed for the Maine Aqua Ventus offshore wind project image courtesy of the University of MaineOn November 16, 2015, Maine's US Senators Collins and King announced that the offshore wind project for the Gulf of Maine known as Aqua Ventus will receive $3.7 million from the US Department of Energy to complete planning, design and supply chain contracts.

The project is being developed by a consortium led by the University of Maine and received a previous $3 million grant in 2014 under the DOE’s Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project. Of other states receiving greater funding under this program, Aqua Ventus is the only one to secure a power purchase agreement so far.

Read the full story in Mainebiz.

VolturnUS floating offshore wind turbine image courtesy of University of Maine.

E2Tech Hosts its First Expo Oct. 1
09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

Greater Voice for Unorganized Territories in Wind Siting Decisions
07/01/2015 - 8:00pm

Map showing Maine's unorganized territories courtesy of State of MaineOn June 29, 2015 in a rare act of agreement with the legislature, the governor signed LD 828, legislation that could give citizens from the state’s rural Unorganized Territories (UT) a greater say in the siting of large, industrial wind turbines in their communities.

The bill allows citizens in certain UT plantations and townships to petition to be removed from the state’s “Expedited Wind Zone,” where permitting for turbines has been streamlined since 2008.

Read the full story from the Pine Tree Watchdog.

Wind Power Jobs Predicted to Grow
02/01/2015 - 8:39pm

a wind turbine in Maine photo by Kay MannOn January 6, 2015, Maine Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Southern Maine released a report, commissioned by the Maine Renewable Energy Association and Wind for Maine, that projects that the wind power industry will produce 4,200 jobs in 2015 and is poised to double over the next four years to 1,300 megawatts of power output.

The report also projects that total spending in Maine on wind power (excluding imported equipment) will total $1.28 billion by 2018.

Read the full news story from AP and download the full report here.

Maine Islanders Study Danish Energy Ways
01/18/2015 - 6:22pm

Samso Island, Denmarks Energy Academy photo courtesy of Samso Energy AcademyIn October of 2014, a group of 5 Mainers from Peaks and Monhegan Islands and 15 College of the Atlantic students traveled to Denmark's Samso Island to attend the Samso Energy Academy and learn about their "Fossil-Free Island" project.

Samso Island is becoming energy independent by using wind and solar power and geothermal and biomass heat. Read a great New York times article that details what they learned there.

Image: Samso Energy Academy photo courtesy of Samso Energy Academy.

Wind Project Subject to Question
01/04/2015 - 7:01pm

a wind turbine photo by Kay MannThe Industrial Energy Consumer Group is set to challenge the proposed West Range Wind project near Bingham in Somerset County, on the basis that it would be owned by CMP's parent Iberdrola and therefore may be given preferential treatment by CMP. At issue is whether it might violate the deregulation rules that prohibit utility companies from owning power generation capacity.

Read more in Mainebiz and in the Portland Press Herald.

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.