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PUC approves $120M offshore wind project

The Maine Public Utility Commission today approved the terms of a project proposal by Norwegian energy giant Statoil to build a $120 million deepwater wind turbine demonstration project in the Gulf of Maine. Commission members voted 2-1 in favor of the proposal, but placed several conditions on their approval that Statoil must meet.

HALLOWELL - The Maine Public Utility Commission today approved the terms of a project proposal by Norwegian energy giant Statoil to build a $120 million deepwater wind turbine demonstration project in the Gulf of Maine.

Commission members voted 2-1 in favor of the proposal, but placed several conditions on their approval that Statoil must meet.

Voting against the project was the PUC's newest commissioner, Mark Vannoy.

Statoil said it will review those condtions but the considered the approval an important milestone for the project.

"We're very grateful," said Kristin Aamodt, the company's project manager.

Statoil is a large oil and gas producer that's using its experience in the North Sea to develop renewable-energy projects around the world. It launched the world's first floating turbine three years ago, off Norway.

Supporters of Statoil's plan view it as Maine's best chance to help attract a deepwater windpower industry that someday could create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment.

Power from the Gulf of Maine project could be flowing by 2016.

The critical issues for the commission are the cost of that power and the project's economic... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

HALLOWELL - The Maine Public Utility Commission today approved the terms of a project proposal by Norwegian energy giant Statoil to build a $120 million deepwater wind turbine demonstration project in the Gulf of Maine.

Commission members voted 2-1 in favor of the proposal, but placed several conditions on their approval that Statoil must meet.

Voting against the project was the PUC's newest commissioner, Mark Vannoy.

Statoil said it will review those condtions but the considered the approval an important milestone for the project.

"We're very grateful," said Kristin Aamodt, the company's project manager.

Statoil is a large oil and gas producer that's using its experience in the North Sea to develop renewable-energy projects around the world. It launched the world's first floating turbine three years ago, off Norway.

Supporters of Statoil's plan view it as Maine's best chance to help attract a deepwater windpower industry that someday could create thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment.

Power from the Gulf of Maine project could be flowing by 2016.

The critical issues for the commission are the cost of that power and the project's economic benefits for Maine.

Statoil estimates that suppliers for the project would employ 150 people full time during peak construction.

The company also has pledged to locate its project operations center in Maine. It already has established a collaborative research and development relationship with UMaine's Advanced Structures & Composites Center for materials testing.

Statoil has said it would involve Maine contractors and suppliers in any large wind park development it undertakes on the Northeast before 2025. It pledges good-faith efforts to award contracts representing at least 10 percent of capital spending, $100 million, to qualified Maine-based suppliers and contractors.


Source: http://www.pressherald.com/...

JAN 24 2013
https://www.windaction.org/posts/35959-puc-approves-120m-offshore-wind-project
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