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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Subscribe to the "News from Maine's Energy Frontier" to receive a "moonthly" digest of articles and events from the website. You can read archived issues here.

Two DOE Research Grants Go to Maine Projects
10/08/2014 - 1:47pm

US Secretary of Energy Dr Ernest Moniz courtesy of US-DOE After losing its bid for a $47million grant in May, the University of Maine-led consortium behind the planned Aqua Ventus offshore wind pilot project has been awarded a $3.8 million cooperative research grant to continue the design and engineering work on its 6 MW VolturnUS floating turbine, connected to the grid in Castine.

Read the whole story from North American Windpower.

Also in September, the Biodiversity Research Institute of Gorham, Maine heard it will receive $1.1 million to develop a stereo-optic camera system to detect and document bird and bat flight behavior in the vicinity of wind turbines, using near-infrared cameras and specialized software to detect animal movements in both the day and night. The project will help researchers better understand potential environmental impacts of wind turbines.

Read the DOE announcement here.

Image credit: US Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz courtesy of US-DOE

UMaine Expands Ocean Energy Testing Capabilities
10/08/2014 - 12:32pm

drawing of the W2 wind and water testing facility at the University of Maine at Orono Advanced Structures and Composites CenterConstruction is underway on an addition to UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC). Called W2, this unique wave-wind basin will allow UMaine researchers to test offshore structures under differing wave and wind environments.

Testing at the W2 facility will be applied to renewable energy projects (such as offshore wind, wave, tidal, and current technologies), shipbuilding, offshore drilling and coastal climate change effects modeling. Completion by May 2015 is expected.

Read the whole story from UMaine.

Image credit: University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center

Maine's First Community Solar Farm
10/08/2014 - 8:57am

Revision Energy workers install solar panels at Maines first community solar farm in Paris Maine image courtesy of Revision EnergyAfter nearly two years in development, ReVision Energy has started construction of Maine’s first community solar farm (CSF) at Sunnycroft Farm in Paris, Maine. The CSF is one type of community solar model, inspired by Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). Community solar allows the construction of a large solar electric array that is co-owned by a group of solar customers who live elsewhere; the array can be located anywhere that has good solar exposure.

Read a great article in the Portland Press Herald. Read more about community energy here.

Photo courtesy of Revision Energy.

Pika Energy Receives Grant
08/10/2014 - 12:38pm

Joshua Kaufman Director of Research and Development and Co-Founder of Pika Energy image courtesy of Pika EnergyPika Energy of Gorham, Maine announced on July 25, 2014 that it has been selected by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to receive $700,000 for two projects designed to improve the competitiveness of residential wind turbines and wind-solar hybrid systems.

One project will focus on improving the manufacturing process for its wind turbines to reduce cost, while the second will scale up key turbine components to capture more energy.

Read the full announcement on Pika's website.

Photo credit: Joshua Kaufman, Director of Research and Development and Co-Founder, Pika Energy, courtesy of Pika Energy.

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