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UMaine reveals snippets of bid

Maine Aqua Ventus’ redacted proposal omits key financial details

UMaine reveals snippets of bid image

A University of Maine-led consortium has released a public version of its bid proposal for a 12MW floating offshore wind demonstrator however key financial details were not disclosed.

The Public Utilities Commission, which must decide by year-end whether to approve a power purchase agreement, ordered that portions of the proposal should be made public.

“Additional information about the project will be released following the completion of negotiation of a draft term sheet with the Maine PUC, which is expected to take place in mid-November,” said Maine Aqua Ventus 1 in a letter to the commission.

The power price is dependent on those final negotiations, said the consortium, which includes Cianbro and Emera. An economic impact statement outlining benefits to Maine communities and workers also will be completed when the term sheet is finalized.

Cianbro will be the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the pilot, according to information released today. The Pittsfield, Maine-based company has committed to help obtain project debt and equity financing.

The 12MW demo will be outfitted with a 25MW electrical interconnection capacity “leaving room for additional test turbines with a total capacity of 13MW to be connected in the future,” said the developer.

The two-turbine Aqua Ventus 1 will be located in state waters about 2.5 miles south of Monhegan Island and 10 miles from the mainland. One of the potential transmission routes includes a 34.5kV 25MW subsea cable from the test site approximately 15 miles to shore at New Harbor.

UMaine intends to supply 300kW of free power to Monhegan Island, which is dependent on diesel generation and residents pay up to 70 cents/kWh for electricity.

The project employs the VolturnUS concrete floating semi-submersible platform with a composite tower. It is contingent on winning an additional $47m in federal funding and is scheduled to come online in 2017.

The pilot project is designed to lead to a larger 500MW wind farm in the Gulf of Maine to be developed and constructed in the years 2020-2024, said the consortium.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has had talks with UMaine about an unsolicited commercial application, said BOEM offshore renewable energy program manager Maureen Bornholdt.

Image: VolturnUS 1:8 scale prototype (UMaine)

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