Maine offshore wind project is put on hold

4:12 PM, Jul 3, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Norwegian energy company Statoil is delaying an offshore wind power pilot project off Maine's Boothbay Harbor, and may scuttle it altogether, because of newly approved legislation.

Statoil executive Lars Johannes Nordli told the Public Utilities Commission in a letter Wednesday that a state law that reopens competition after bidding closed has created "uncertainty." He also said the project could be moved to another state.

Statoil and the PUC agreed to terms in January for the $120 million project that would put four, three-megawatt wind turbines 12 miles off the coast on floating spar-buoy structures tethered to the seabed.

But lawmakers approved legislation backed by Gov. Paul LePage to reopen the competition to let the University of Maine compete. The governor's spokeswoman said it's important to have "open competition."

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