Maine PUC approves offshore wind project

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AUGUSTA, Maine — State energy regulators have voted to approve, with conditions, a plan to develop a $120 million wind turbine demonstration project off Maine’s coast.


The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted, 2-1, Thursday for the proposal to put four three-megawatt wind turbines on floating spar-buoy structures tethered to the seabed in 460 feet of water off Boothbay Harbor. The Hywind Maine project is proposed by Norwegian energy giant Statoil.


The Portland Press Herald says the PUC placed several conditions on its approval that Statoil must meet.


Statoil says it will review the conditions, but considers Thursday’s approval to be an important milestone for the project.


Power from the project could be flowing by 2016.


The critical issues for the commission are the cost of that power and the project’s economic benefits for Maine.


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