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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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

Wind Energy Act Called into Question
05/23/2013 - 11:38am

wind turbines atop Stetson Mountain in Maine by Kay MannOn May 21, 2013, the Pine Tree Watchdog published an in-depth report on a March 28 hearing before the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee on LD 616, which proposes to weaken some provisions of the Wind Energy Act of 2008 and restore more local controls over consideration of wind power facility applications in certain townships, plantations and Unorganized Territories. The committee has agreed to review the policy, which has streamlined the permitting of wind projects since 2008.

Read the full article on the Pine Tree Watchdog site.

Funding offered to Advance Ocean Energy Technologies
05/17/2013 - 11:55am

On April 30, the Energy Department announced that up to $13 million dollars in funding were to be invested to develop and test advanced components and technologies that will enhance the performance of marine and hydrokinetic energy systems. Due to this recent funding opportunity, the Energy Department wants to support projects that will augment the power-to-weight ratio of the marine and hydrokinetic energy systems or improve the reliability of the system through the investment in three component technologies. The Energy Department will choose six projects to develop advanced control systems and assess the performance improvements; and two projects will develop and test a device that minimizes the loads transmitted to other components and increases the device's capability to endure severe conditions.

The DOE is working closely with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to support and endorse increased understanding of the potential environmental effects of marine and hydrokinetic energy devices. This funding opportunity announcement will support the collection of environmental monitoring and experimental data from the marine and hydrokinetic devices and analyses of data.

Read the full story on the Department of Energy's website.

Check out the Energy Ocean International 2013 conference and expo June 10-12, 2013 in Warwick, RI.

Rail Extension Project Begins at the Auburn Transportation Hub
04/24/2013 - 7:33pm

On April 17, 2013, officials announced a $3 million railroad renovation that will connect business parks in Poland and Auburn to Auburn's intermodal transportation hub. According to the Sun Journal, the funding for the project comes from a state bond that was issued several years ago. The extension will restore 6,600 feet of the old Rangeley Branch line, build a 400-foot spur and provide direct rail access to approximatly 400 acres of land in Auburn and Poland. Additionally, 1,500 feet of siding will be built allowing trains to more easily pull over and let another pass, decreasing congestion. The restoration and additions to the railroad will create more room for businesses to tie in and connect to rail in Auburn and Poland. The construction is projected to be finished by this coming fall.

Read more at Mainebiz and the Sun Journal.