Maine Aqua Ventus Wind Project: Is It Right for Bristol?

         
The purposes of this website are:
(1) to provide information to Bristol's citizens about the MAV Wind Project, and
(2) to solicit input from Bristol's citizens regarding their opinions about the Wind Project.


WEBSITE SURVEY #2 RESULTS    ***Updated4/13/2014***

TOWN MEETING PAPER SURVEY RESULTS    ***Updated4/13/2014***




Updated 2/7/2014


WHO?
  • Maine Aqua Ventus I GP LLC:
    • Emera Inc. (International Energy and Services Company based in Nova Scotia)
    • Cianbro (Construction Company based in Maine, with offices in the Northeast, MidAtlantic, South Central and South West regions of the United States)
    • Maine Prime Technologies (A spinoff of the University of Maine, which is the technology developer and research/development partner)
Other involved parties include:
  • Central Maine Power
    • A power transmission and distribution company owned by Iberdrola, a Spanish energy giant
  • Technip
    • A French energy company that created the first floating wind turbine in the world
  • SGC Engineering 
    • A subsidiary of Senergy, which operates in the United Kingdom, Norway, Middle East, Australia, USA, and Indonesia, which has been involved in connecting offshore wind projects to Great Britain's electricity grid.









WHERE?
  • Sea-based Infrastructure:
    • Turbines will be located approximately 2.5 miles off the southern coast of Monhegan Island and 12 miles off the the mainland in the University of Maine's "Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site."
      • NOTE:  MAV plans to start by placing 2 turbines in this Site.  Legislation that created the Test Site allows it to contain up to 6 energy generating devices.
    • The undersea cable will run across the sea bottom from the turbines to a location onshore.
  • Land-based Infrastructure:
    • Cable is proposed to come ashore on the Bristol peninsula.
    • A switch station expansion will be located very close to the CMP substation in Bristol Mills.
    • Project requires associated assembly and manufacturing areas, and any necessary transmission facilities.  Each of the composite towers must be created on or near the launch site.  The location of these facilities are not yet determined.


WHY?
  • To serve as a pilot project for the eventual creation of a 100 to 500 megawatt wind farm to be built in "the Gulf of Maine and other markets worldwide" in the years 2020-2024.
  • To promote the development of alternative energy sources.
  • To provide energy to energy poor regions of southern New England.

WHAT?
  • The Maine Aqua Ventus I Project consists of:
  • Two 328-foot-tall floating wind turbines, with a maximum blade height of approximately 576 feet above the water, with a combined 12 megawatt capacity will be tethered to the ocean floor.
    • The offshore floating wind turbine technology is called "VolturnUS."  It consists of:
      • Composite towers
      • Concrete hulls
  • A 15 mile, 6-7 inch diameter cable that would run from the offshore turbines, across Muscongus Bay, to the onshore CMP substation in Bristol Mills.
    • Landfall will be "somewhere" in Bristol.
    • Undersea cable life span - 20 years
    • Power will be brought to the substation either by additional above ground poles/wires or underground cable (MAV currently states the cable will be underground.)

WHEN?

 Date   Event 
8/2013 UMaine submits a bid for their wind power project to Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
10/2013 StatOil pulls its wind power project out of Maine.
(Had proposed a 4 wind turbine project 10 miles off Boothbay Harbor)
11/2013 Townspeople in Friendship voice significant opposition to Project at a public meeting due to its potentially negative effects on the fishing industry. 
12/20/13    Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Term Sheet Public Comment Period Closes.
12/31/13 PUC plans to make decision on Term Sheet and move forward toward a full contract.
2/2014 Project will be submitted to federal Department of Energy to seek next phase of funding. 
5/2014 Department of Energy will select a finalist for grant funding of $46.6 million.  The Maine Aqua Ventus Project is currently a top three finalist.
5/2015Construction starts (platform construction, cable construction, substation upgrades, anchor installations, etc.)
 2015The Test Site will be available for OTHER companies (not yet specified) to test OTHER designs.  
 2016Construction continues. 
 9/2017Project complete and selling electricity to the grid. 




WHY BRISTOL?
  • The CMP substation (the place where the cable can "plug into" the grid) is already in existence in Bristol Mills.
  • The Gulf of Maine has significant wind energy potential, due to presence of strong, steady winds. 
  • Other  potential locations (St. George, etc.) have been rejected.
    • St. George was rejected due to the excessive costs associated with landing the cable in that location, which is some distance away from the Test Site.