Statoil Reduces Power Cost of Its Hywind Maine Project, USA

Statoil Reduces Power Cost of Its Hywind Maine Project, USA

Statoil North America has revised its proposal for the Hywind Maine offshore wind project by reducing the cost of energy to ratepayers, which was an obstacle for the company to get an approval for the project from the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Energy cost in the revised proposal is reduced from USD 290/MWh to USD 270/MWh. Nevertheless, the new director of the Maine energy office Patrick Woodcock is cited by Bangor Daily News as saying that Statoil’s proposed cost reduction is reliant upon receiving USD 47 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants and investment tax credits for capital costs and that he expected that the price for the ratepayers would have been reduced more.

The company also said that it would support Maine jobs by directing at least 40% of its capital expenditures for the pilot project to Maine companies and employing at least 150 people during the construction of the offshore wind project.  Furthermore, Statoil plans to place the operations center in Maine and contract with the state’s consultants.

“We need it ironclad that economic activity occurs in Maine,” Patrick Woodcock is quoted by the news site as saying. “We need to know better what they mean by supporting Maine jobs.”

The PUC has to approve the proposal in order to allow the company to sell electricity generated by the project to one or more Maine’s investor-owned utilities, under a 20-year contract.

Lars Johannes Nordli, Statoil’s vice president of wind business development, points out in his cover letter for the revised proposal that they do not intend to negotiate any further, stressing that the Hywind project holds great opportunities for offshore wind development and many advantages for Maine’s economy.

The Hywind project includes the deployment of four floating wind turbines 12 miles southeast of Boothbay Harbor.

In October, a public hearing was held on the original proposal, when two out of three commissioners said they will not support the project if Statoil doesn’t change its proposal to assure that Maine will benefit from it in the long term from.

[mappress]

Offshore WIND Staff, January 21, 2013; Image: Statoil

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