There was a time when I got all the news I needed either at the dump, at the store, or across the bed of a pickup truck. I guess now maybe things have changed somewhat.

News Updates

MAINE ENERGY NEWS

Peruse our compilation of news stories about Maine's evolution to a clean energy ecomony. You may also wish to view news sorted by topic categories from the community page of your choice.
Scroll to the end of this page for some energy-related RSS news feeds from other sites.

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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.

CMP Withdraws Standby Fee Hike Proposal
07/11/2014 - 12:12pm

Solar Array at Thomas College by Jen BukerIn apparent reaction to vociferous opposition by renewable energy proponents, Central Maine Power Company (CMP) has withdrawn from its rate case settlement agreement a request to hike the standby fees that it charges to grid-tied ratepayers who produce their own electric power.

The Office of the Maine Public Advocate was among the many intervenors opposing the increased fees. Brunswick Landing, which is planning to generate power from anaerobic digestion of wastes onsite and Bowdoin College, which is building the state's largest solar complex, are among the beneficiaries of this move.

Read it all in the Portland Press Herald or in Mainebiz.

National Wildlife Federation Bullish on Offshore Wind
07/11/2014 - 10:57am

Catching the Wind State Actions Needed to Seize the Golden Opportunity of Atlantic Offshore Wind Power by the National Wildlife FederationThe National Wildlife Federation recently released a report singing the praises of offshore wind power. Calling offshore wind "a golden opportunity to benefit our environment and strengthen our economy" and an "energy gold mine", the report concludes that offshore wind can help to "protect wildlife and future generations from the dangerous impacts of climate change".

Read an excellent summary of the report by Darren Fishell in the Bangor Daily News.
Read highlights and VIP comments on the report from the Natural Resources Council of Maine or simply download the entire report.

Maine Green Power Reaches Two Milestones
06/28/2014 - 2:00am

Maine Green Power logo courtesy of Maine Green PowerOn June 26, 2014, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced that as the Maine Green Power program celebrates its first anniversary, it has already reached the milestone of over 1000 participants in the program.

Maine Green Power sources its energy from green, renewable resources in Maine, such as hydro, tidal, and biomass power, providing green energy without interruptions in service or changes in providers.

Read the full announcement from the MPUC. For more about Maine Green Power, visit their website

Water Heater Rebates Extended
06/13/2014 - 8:04pm

a heat pump water heater, image courtesy of Efficiency MaineBecause Maine is one of the leaders in adopting heat pump water heater technology, Efficiency Maine announced on June 13 that it is extending its $300 rebates on this appliance for the next 12 months, provided that funding lasts so long.

The rebate form on the website has been updated. It covers purchases made from the past 12 months to the next 12 months.

Read more here.

Photo credit: a heat pump water heater, image courtesy of Efficiency Maine.

Public Advocate Now Favors Northeast Wind Pact
05/13/2014 - 9:41am

Maine Public Advocate Tomothy Schneider courtesy of Maine State websiteAfter standing opposed to the 2012 Northeast Wind pact between Emera and First Wind, Maine Public Advocate Timothy Schneider announced on May 5, 2014 that he would withdraw opposition to it.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is now reconsidering its approval of the deal for Emera to buy power generated by wind plants owned by First Wind, after the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the approval was in violation of Maine's Restructuring Act, which prohibits utilities from owning both transmission and generation.

Read the full story from the Pine Tree Watch Dog. Photo credit: Maine Public Advocate Tomothy Schneider courtesy of Maine State website.

Maine Offshore Wind Project Denied Funding
05/09/2014 - 1:16pm

twisted jacket wind turbine courtesy of DOEOn May 7, 2014, the US-DOE announced its 3 picks for a $47 million grant to further develop offshore wind power projects, and Maine Aqua Ventus was not chosen. The 3 winners were in Oregon, New Jersey and Virginia; both the OR and NJ projects plan to use a twisted jacket foundation for their turbines (shown).

Maine wind industry proponents, while disappointed, expressed optimism that the project would still go forward at a more optimal time. MOWII Director Paul Williamson said, “Perhaps by having the extra time, the opportunity to complete the design cycle as energy markets continue to mature, and with the prospect of additional funding within the next couple years, this will allow the project to mature so it’s ever more successful."

Read the full story on the DOE website and in the Portland Press Herald. Image of twisted jacket wind turbine courtesy of DOE.

Baxter Academy Wins Wind Blade Challenge
05/06/2014 - 1:00pm

Students from Baxter Academy who won the 2014 Maine Wind Blade Challenge photo courtesy of Maine Ocean and Wind Energy InitiativeOn May 2, 2014, the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA) and the Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative (MOWII) held the 6th annual Maine Wind Blade Challenge at the University of Maine at Orono.

Baxter Academy won the competition with a unique mechanical variable blade pitch design. Brunswick Region 10 Team 1 and Thornton Academy placed second and third out of 39 registered teams.

See the full results of the event here. Photo of the Baxter team courtesy of Maine Ocean and Wind Industry Initiative.