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


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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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.

Maine to Share in Grant to Develop Ocean Energy
08/05/2013 - 3:34pm

National Science Foundation Where Discoveries begin logoOn July 31, 2013, the National Science Foundation awarded $983,997 to the University of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy, Sandia National Labs and the National Renewable Energy Lab to develop a multidirectional Wind-Wave generating system. "W2", as it will be called, will be able to simulate wave and wind conditions similar to those found in the Gulf of Maine, to enable researchers to develop new methods of capturing ocean energy.

Read more in the press release from Senators King and Collins.

Hywind Offshore Wind Project in Irons
07/19/2013 - 9:34am

a spar type floating wind turbine such as Statoil of Norway proposed to test in its Hywind Maine project off Monhegan IslandAfter the passage of LD1472 ("An Act To Provide for Economic Development with Offshore Wind Power") in June 2013, Statoil of Norway has announced it will suspend activities on its Hywind Maine project until "conditions become acceptable".

The Act orders the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) to conduct a 2nd competitive solicitation of proposals for projects, despite its having awarded a power purchase agreement to the Hywind project earlier this year.

The Act orders the MPUC to allow the University of Maine offshore wind power pilot project to compete for eventual ratepayer support.

Read more in the Bangor Daily News and read an excellent comparison of the two projects in Mainebiz.

"Energize, VolturnUS!"
06/18/2013 - 9:47pm

VolturnUS wind turbine prototype being towed out to sea off Castine Maine photo by University of MaineOn June 13, 2013, the first floating, offshore wind turbine in the Americas began to send electricity to the land-based power grid in Castine, Maine. The project of the University of Maine's Advanced Structures & Composites Center is a 1/8 scale prototype of the turbines proposed to operate in the Gulf of Maine by 2016, with full scale-up by 2030. Each full-sized turbine is expected to generate 6 megawatts of power, enough for 2,000 homes.

Read the full story in the Bangor Daily News.

Photo courtesy of University of Maine.

Bosarge Family Education Center Earns Zero Net Energy Building Award
06/18/2013 - 9:15pm

Cosarge Family Education Center at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens has recently earned the 2013 Zero Net Energy Building Award by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association photo by Thornton ThomasettiThe Bosarge Family Education Center at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine has been awarded the 2013 Zero Net Energy Building Award by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA).

Thornton Tomasetti, an international engineering firm with offices in Portland, served as the project’s green building consultant.

Read the full story from Thornton Tomasetti.  Read a complete description of the building here.

Photo courtesy of Thornton Tomasetti.

Aroostook County Rail Line Sold
06/12/2013 - 5:20pm

Maine Northern Railway is operated by Maine Eastern Railway, a division of JD Irving Ltd of CanadaOn June 10, 2013, the  Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway sold a 28-mile stretch of railway that runs from Van Buren to Madawaska, including an international bridge to St. Leonard, Quebec, to Eastern Maine Railway, a division of JD Irving, Ltd. The new owners expect the line to offer their clients "seamless, efficient rail service that will mean less freight transfer and the related savings in time and costs associated with direct service.”

Read more in the Fiddlehead News, in Mainebiz and in the Bangor Daily News.

Photo Credit: Maine Northern Railway, operated by Eastern Maine Railway.

First US Grid-Connected Floating Wind Turbine Launched in Castine
06/05/2013 - 3:26pm

The Volturn US first floating offshore wind turbine to be connected to the grid is towed offshore on May 31, 2013 photo courtesy of University of MaineOn May 31, 2013, the University of Maine made history by launching the first grid-connected, floating wind turbine prototype in the United States, into waters off Castine.  This gives Maine the second such "nation's first" event in 9 months, after Ocean Renewable Power Company of Portland became the first US tidal power generator to connect to the grid in September of 2012. 

Read the full story in our wind power blog, the Department of Energy website, and in the University of Maine blog

Photo courtesy of University of Maine.


First Wind Proposes New Wind Project
05/29/2013 - 12:15pm

wind turbines atop Stetson Mountain in Maine photo by Kay Mann First Wind has filed an application with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to build a 62-turbine wind power installation on mountains in Bingham, Mayfield Township and Kingsbury Plantation. If approved, the plant would generate up to 186 megawatts of power and be the largest in New England. The environmental group, Friends of Maine's Mountains has questioned the proposal's environmental impacts and plans to study them further.

Read the full story in Mainebiz or on MPBN.

Photo credit: Kay Mann