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.
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CMP, Emera Maine Standard Offer Prices Set to Decrease in 2015
01/15/2015 - 7:32pm

a happy electric ratepayer in Maine photo by Brian HymerOn January 13th and 14th, the Maine Public Utilities Commission released new electricity prices- effective this year- for residents and small to medium businesses who use standard offer supply services through CMP and Emera Maine. 

CMP residents and small businesses who recieve the standard offer can expect to see a 13.4% decrease in the cost of electricity per kWh from last year, from the current price of 7.56 cents/per kWh, to 6.54 cents/ kWh in 2015. CMP medium business customers will see about a 17.3% decrease in medium class prices compared to last term; the new prices differ by month, and will amount to about 6.44 cents/kWh on average over the 2015 term. 

Emera Maine residential and small business customers in the Bangor Hydro area will see a similar decrease in price of about 14% this year, the price shifting from the current 7.58 cents/kWh to 6.50 cents/ kWh in 2015. The prices for Medium businesses for the new term is set to average about 6.66 cents/ kWh, reflecting about a 17% drop in prices from the same 10 month period from last year.

These new prices apply only to standard offer supply services, and are effective starting March 1, 2015. For more information, find the full MPUC press releases here:

Electricity Supply Prices Set for Standard Offer Service in Central Maine Power Territory

Electricity Supply Prices Set for Standard Offer Service in Emera Maine – Bangor Hydro District

Wind Project Subject to Question
01/04/2015 - 7:01pm

a wind turbine photo by Kay MannThe Industrial Energy Consumer Group is set to challenge the proposed West Range Wind project near Bingham in Somerset County, on the basis that it would be owned by CMP's parent Iberdrola and therefore may be given preferential treatment by CMP. At issue is whether it might violate the deregulation rules that prohibit utility companies from owning power generation capacity.

Read more in Mainebiz and in the Portland Press Herald.

Efficiency Maine Announces Increased Appliance Rebates
01/04/2015 - 6:33pm

a heat pump water heater image courtesy of Efficiency MaineOn the last day of 2014, an announcement came in from Efficiency Maine: In addition to their $300 mail-in rebate on heat pump water heaters, they have just rolled out a $200 markdown on qualifying units with Maine retailers and wholesalers. Heat pump water heaters that used to sell for $999 can now be found for $799 and they still qualify for the $300 mail-in rebate. These units offer 50-gallon tanks, 10-year warranties and up to $2,500 lifetime savings, based on $250/year savings vs electric resistance water heating (per Energy Star). Check out the program here.

In addition, new appliances have been added to the list of eligible rebates from Efficiency Maine.

Image credit: Efficiency Maine

UPDATE 2/15/15: As of March 1, 2015, the rebate will be lowered to $100, according to Efficiency Maine.  Please refer to the Efficiency Maine site above for up-to-date information.

More Solar Power for Loring in Limestone
12/05/2014 - 7:08pm

depiction of Loring II solar development in Limestone Maine image courtesy of Maine Solar EngineeringOn December 5, 2014, the Loring Development Authority of Limestone, Maine and The Power Company of Washington, Maine announced that construction had begun on a 200 KW solar energy project, named “Loring Solar II” on the former Loring Air Force base, which closed in 1994.

Under the terms of a special lease agreement, LDA will act as host and off-taker of the electricity. In exchange, LDA leases the equipment and realizes a net saving in electric costs.

Loring Solar II will consist of 30 dual-axis-tracking devices. Combined with Loring Solar I, the 2 projects will produce approximately 385 MWh per year, enough to off-set 250 tons of carbon production annually.

Read the full story in the Bangor Daily News.

Sun Edison Buys First Wind
12/05/2014 - 6:08pm

Sun Edison logoOn November 18, 2014, North American Windpower announced that the global solar company SunEdison Inc. and its yieldco subsidiary, TerraForm Power, have signed a definitive agreement to acquire First Wind, a Boston-based developer, owner and operator of U.S. wind projects, for $2.4 billion.

TerraForm Power will acquire First Wind’s 521 MW operating portfolio, including many projects in Maine. Read an in-depth analysis of the possible implications of this sale in the Bangor Daily News.

ORPC Proves Concept of New Tidal Generation Device
11/03/2014 - 10:26pm

Photo of OCGen Prototype Buoyancy Pod Chassis and 2 Turbines June 2014 photo courtesy of ORPCOn October 29, 2014, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) of Portland, Maine announced that it has concluded its OCGen® Module Mooring Project in Cobscook Bay, Maine. The trial successfully both proved the stability of the prototype OCGen® device in reversing tidal currents and confirmed the loading and performance of its innovative tensioned mooring system.

"We believe the prototype OCGen® device is the first installation anywhere of a floating hydrokinetic device held at a fixed location in the water column using a tensioned mooring and anchoring system," said ORPC President & CEO Chris Sauer.

Read the full story in our blog post.

Image credit: OCGen® Prototype Buoyancy Pod Chassis and 2 Turbines June 2014 photo courtesy of ORPC.

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.