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Statoil puts Hywind Maine on ice

Statoil puts Hywind Maine on ice image

Statoil North America is putting the 12MW Hywind Maine floating wind project on hold after Governor Paul LePage signed a law re-opening bidding for offshore wind projects.

The Public Utilities Commission in January approved a term sheet for a 20-year power purchase agreement with Statoil that will pay $270/MWh. The new law enacted last week directing the commission to hold a second solicitation for deep-water offshore wind projects is designed to allow a University of Maine-led coalition to submit a bid for the 12MW Aqua Ventus 1 scheme.

Statoil says the law means a contract for its Hywind project is in doubt and that final approval of a PPA would not occur by this summer as anticipated, Statoil VP wind business development Lars Johannes Nordli said in a letter to the PUC.

“Statoil is considering several locations for building a pilot park based on the Hywind floating concept, in addition to Maine, and cannot continue to spend its resources on this project without certainty that a contract for the project output will be finalized,” said Nordli.

The developer said it is putting the Maine project on the back burner while it assesses recent developments in the state. It has previously identified a location off the northeast coast of Scotland as its other preferred location for deployment.

“We will keep the option open to re-initiate project activity if a PPA can be concluded according to the term sheet, and the total risk picture in Maine is acceptable,” said Nordli.

The Norwegian energy company’s $120m pilot includes the installation of four 3MW turbines about 10 miles off the mainland on next-generation spar foundations.

Image: A Hywind floating turbine (Statoil)

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