Hywind Maine

PUC approves Statoil terms

Posted:  Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 12:45pm

UPDATE: In deliberations January 24, Commissioner Thomas Welch joined Commission David Littell in approving Statoil’s revised contract terms for its proposed floating pilot wind park in the Gulf of Maine. Commissioner Mark Vannoy remained opposed to the contract terms.

In his comments, Commissioner Welch, who opposed Statoil’s original contract terms in October 2012, said the proposed reduction in electricity price and the greater commitment to long-term benefits to Maine were sufficient to meet the obligations of the Ocean Energy Act.

Welch also said the potential to provide significant economic activity, to attract and keep young people in the state, and to develop a Center of Excellence with the University of Maine were important, but unquantifiable, benefits of the project.

Original post: In October 2012, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decided not to accept Statoil’s proposed contract terms for the sale of electricity generated at its proposed floating pilot wind park in the Gulf of Maine. 

Although Commissioner David Littell was prepared to accept those terms, Commissioners Thomas Welch and Mark Vannoy thought the investment by Maine ratepayers was too high and Statoil’s too low. 

Last week, Statoil submitted a new term sheet to the PUC; the Commission has not yet set a date for a public hearing on these new terms.

According to PUC documents, the most significant changes in Statoil’s new term sheet are a lower energy price for Maine utilities and a commitment to involve Maine contractors in any future wind park Statoil develops before 2025 using Hywind technology along the Atlantic Coast from Maryland north to Maine.

The new term sheet can be viewed here.

Sue Mello can be reached at 207-844-4629 or sumello@boothbayregister.com.