The Maine Public Utilities Commission has approved in a 2-1 vote a term sheet for Maine Aqua Ventus’ pilot offshore wind energy project.
The decision clears a hurdle for Maine Aqua Ventus in its path to receive electric ratepayer support as it tests new offshore wind technology developed at the University of Maine. (Maine Aqua Ventus is a consortium made up of Emera, Cianbro and Maine Prime Technologies LLC, a spin-off company representing UMaine).
The Term Sheet agreed outlines the conditions under which Maine Aqua Ventus I will sell an estimated 43,000 megawatt hours per year to the grid from its two, six-megawatt turbines at a price of 23 cents per kilowatt hour. Maine Aqua Ventus I is projected to create up to 341 full- and part-time jobs in an economic analysis by University of Maine economist Dr. Todd Gabe, which was released with the draft Term Sheet. Dr. Gabe has extensive experience measuring the economic impact of projects in Maine and his report is based on a well-regarded IMPLAN econometric model.
According ot its web-site, Maine Aqua Ventus I represents the next milestone in the U.S's goal to harness wind energy in deep ocean waters. This two turbine, 12 MW floating offshore pilot project is the first of its kind in the world. Based on the University of Maine’s VolturnUS technology, the advances point to a future 500 MW deep water project providing clean, quiet, renewable energy out of sight of Maine's shores.