Norweigian Company Withdraws Proposed $120 Million Wind Energy Project in Maine

Posted: 10/18/2013  browse the blog archive
Norweigian Company Withdraws Proposed $120 Million Wind Energy Project in Maine

The renewable energy industry in Maine received a major blow when Norwegian company Statoil announced earlier this week that it was abandoning a proposed $120 million wind energy project off the coast of Maine.  Statoil’s decision came after Republican governor Paul LePage’s administration reopened the competitive bidding process for the project, reported the Boston Herald.   

In January, Statoil gained state regulatory approval for a 20-year contract to install four wind turbines 12 miles off the coast.  However, in July LePage signed legislation to reopen the bidding process to allow the University of Maine to submit a proposal, which the university did in August.  Statoil’s withdrawal means that UMaine’s proposal is the only project being considered for a state contract.

UMaine chose to submit its proposal confidentially, which has created some concerns.  “Without any information it’s hard to know what the technical and financial capacity is for the UMaine proposal,” said Sean Mahoney, executive vice president and director of the Conservation Law Foundation on Maine, in an interview with Huffington Post.  The Public Utilities Commission recently ruled that the university must release some details about its proposal by the end of this month. 

Statoil explained in a statement that changes with the state and scheduling delays made the project outlook too uncertain to proceed, and that it will focus on a project in Scotland while continuing to explore the United States’ offshore wind market. 

Renewable energy industry officials consider Statoil’s withdrawal a serious roadblock for Maine’s offshore wind industry, as well as future investment in the state.

The Chanler Group is actively engaged in the review and analysis of incentive-based .renewable energy programs to determine potential benefits to our clients.  Global energy consumption continues to increase each year and, with this increase, the demand for safe, clean, and unlimited energy is on the rise.  The Federal and State governments promote this interest through a variety of financially-beneficial incentives.  Our understanding of these laws allows us to guide homeowners, businesses, and/or developers through the various ways to take advantage of these incentive-based benefits.  With the appreciation that renewable energy laws and regulations are constantly changing, The Chanler Group is committed to investing in its understanding and practice of this area of law.