Wind capacity in Maine is picking up steam.
The US Department of Energy announced the completion of a $102 million loan guarantee to Record Hill Wind LLC for its 50.6 MW located near Roxbury, Maine. The Yale University Endowment will provide additional funding for the onshore project that will consist of 22 turbines and an eight mile transmission line.
Advanced Turbine Load Control (TLC) technology, a system of sensors and processing software that allows turbines to continue generating electricity under turbulent conditions will be installed with the 22 turbines. The technology is intended to lower operation and management costs while reducing potential damage to the turbines.
The finalization of loan guarantees for the Record Hill plant, expected to be completed by November, will help Maine regain presence in the wind sector, Record Hill Wind spokesperson Rob Gardiner told Breaking Energy. In July, the 60 MW Rollins Wind project in Penobscot County, Maine also opened for operation, adding to the country’s wind capacity.
For more information about the Rollins Wind project read: First Wind Adds Rollins Project To Portfolio.
“In Maine there has been a slowdown in the development of energy,” Gardiner said. “This is where the DOE has really made a huge difference. This project may not have gone forward this year without it.”
As of June 2011 the US wind industry was generating 42,432 MW of wind capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association. The Record Hill wind project, currently under construction, will contribute 50.6 MW to the grid, bringing the country a step closer to its target of 20% wind generation by 2030.
The DOE is proactively working towards reaching the target of 20% wind generation by 2030, the agency said in a July 2008 report.
The office recently announced $1.7 billion in conditional commitments and guarantees to five wind projects including Nordic Windpower, First Wind’s Kahuku wind project, Caithness Shepherds Flat, Granite Reliable and Record Hill, the DOE Loan Programs Office confirmed.
“This innovative project creates jobs in Maine while boosting domestic wind generation in order to achieve the Administration’s goal of doubling clean energy produced in America by 2035,” said Secretary Chu in a statement. “Clean energy is a major driver of American competitiveness, and investments like these are essential to secure our position as global leader.”
Editor’s Note: This photo, of Bar Harbor, Maine, located on Mount Desert Island, was originally posted on April 11, 2007 by clif1066 on Flickr.