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Spruce Mountain Enters Final Stages of Construction

The Spruce Mountain Wind project in Woodstock, Maine is in the final stages of construction.  Five of the project’s 10 Gamesa G-909 2.0-MW turbines have been erected and the remainder of the turbines will be installed within the next two weeks.  The project’s developer Patriot Renewables (represented by Verrill Dana) expects Spruce Mountain Wind to be generating electricity by mid-November.  Here are some photos of project construction:     




A River Restoration Riddle...

Question:  When does the removal of a hydropower dam result in increased energy generation?

Answer:   When the Penobscot River Restoration Trust removes the dam.

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust, a collaboration between environmental groups, state and federal resource agencies, the Penobscot Indian Nation, and PPL Corporation, has struck a deal to restore 1,000 miles of Atlantic Salmon (and other species) habitat on the Penobscot River by removing two dams formerly owned by PPL (Veazie and Great Works) and constructing a fish bypass around a third (Howland).  Verrill Dana has been there from the start, helping the Trust with contracting, permitting and strategic planning (read more about it on our website)

“Well,” you say, “that’s great for the fish, what about the energy?”  With bombs falling overseas, don’t we need to keep all of our home-grown electrons?

The Trust and PPL thought so—so they structured this deal to allow PPL or its successor (now Black Bear Hydro) to increase generation at other facilities in the Penobscot River watershed.  The result—happy fish- AND the river system will maintain its generating capacity (maybe even eke out a little more than it did before).

It can be done.  We’re doing it in Maine.



Saddleback Wind Project Approved: New Blades Will Reduce Sound

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has issued its approval to Patriot Renewables to construct the Saddleback Ridge Wind project in and around Carthage, Maine.  The project’s twelve 2.75-103 General Electric turbines will generate a total nameplate capacity of 29.4 megawatts.  The GE 2.75-103 turbines are manufactured with a new modified blade design engineered to reduce the turbine’s noise output.  More information on the turbine design is here.  The project’s DEP permit was signed and issued on October 6.  Verrill Dana attorneys assisted Patriot Renewables with the permitting for the Saddleback Ridge Wind project.


Maine Public Utilities Commission Approves Transmission Reinforcement in Western Maine


The MPUC granted a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for Central Maine Power Company’s proposed Somerset County Reinforcement Project, a 115 kV, 39-mile transmission line in western Maine.  Although the line was initially proposed as part of CMP’s Maine Power Reliability Program, this particular component of the project was not initially approved by the MPUC when the MPUC approved the MPRP in June 2010.  After further proceedings, the Commission approved a stipulation in which several parties agreed that there was a need for the line, but others contested the need for the proposed transmission solution on various grounds.  The Commission found that although a re-rate of an existing line is an option that could address the demonstrated reliability need, the new line would provide several additional benefits.  Among the additional benefits, the Commission found that the new line would advance Maine’s policy of promoting cost-effective development of renewable generation.  It will enable the development of wind generation in western Maine.



Energy News Roundup: August 20-August 26

This week in regional energy news …



MPUC Reminds Maine CEPs of Their Responsibility for Actions Taken by CEP Representatives and Agents

In an August 17, 2011 letter from the Maine Public Utilities Commission to all “competitive electricity suppliers,” the MPUC reminded all competitive electricity providers of their responsibility for all actions taken by their representatives or agents when operating in Maine.  The MPUC issued this reminder “[i]n light of the increased number of Competitive Electricity Suppliers (CEP) becoming licensed to provide both aggregator/broker and supplier services” and, apparently, the resulting increase in the number of electricity providers contracting with representatives or agents in the Maine retail electricity market.  More specifically, the MPUC pointed to the requirement in Chapter 305 § 2(C)(3) of its rules, which states that by obtaining a Maine CEP license, the licensee agrees to use reasonable efforts not to conduct business with any entity acting as a CEP in Maine that does not have an MPUC license.





Governor's Energy Office Offers Web Resource for Efficiency Incentive Programs

The Maine Office of Energy Independence and Security is now providing information on energy-related grants for Maine businesses, nonprofits, government entities, and others in the state. 

The Web initiative, called Grants Connector, will serve as a resource for information on federal, state, and private energy efficiency incentives and programs.  OEIS will monitor federal and state legislative and regulatory actions, appropriations, and programs and compile the information at Grants Connector.  The initiatives may include investment tools relating to tax credits, rebates, low-interest loans, research and development, pilot programs, and more.  

The Grants Connector website will be updated monthly.  To receive an email notification of each update, email Jeff Marks.

OEIS is an arm of the Governor’s office and does not fund programs directly.