Norwegian energy giant Statoil's plan to develop a $120 million wind turbine demonstration project off the Maine coast depends on whether state regulators approve the company’s proposed electric rate and contract terms at a meeting Thursday, according to the project’s manager.
“It’s critical for us to have both federal and state support to build the project,” Kristin Aamodt told the Portland Press Herald. “This decision Thursday is very important to be able to develop the project further.”
Statoil is a large oil and gas producer that’s using its experience in the North Sea to develop renewable energy projects around the world. It launched the world’s first floating turbine three years ago, off Norway. If Statoil is unable at this time to refine its offshore floating wind turbine design in the Gulf of Maine, Aamodt indicated, the company may shift its efforts to Japan or Europe.
Aamodt’s comments come as the Maine Public Utilities Commission is set to deliberate on Statoil’s plans for Hywind Maine.