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Aqua Ventus Developing First US Floating Wind Farm (Ind Report)
Maine Aqua Ventus.Central Maine Power Company
Date: 2020-01-03
Central Maine Power Company (CMP) reports the recent signing of a 20-year ppa with Maine Aqua Ventus which plans to construct two floating wind turbines in the Gulf of Maine using technology developed by the University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Subject to various regulatory and environmental approvals, the project could be completed in 2022.

Aqua Ventus is presently working on a pilot project miles off of Monhegan Island, the first pilot project of floating wind technology in the Americas. It is one-eighth the scale of a planned six-megawatt turbine. (Source: Maine Aqua Ventus.Beacon, Maine News Service, 2 Jan., 2019) Contact: Central Maine Power Company, www.cmpco.com; Maine Aqua Ventus, Meghan Collins, (207) 581-2117 www.maineaquaventus.com; University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, 207-581-2123, www.composites.umaine.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Offshore Wind,  Floating Wind,  


US DOE Granting $28Mn In Funding For Wind R&D (Funding, R&D)
US DOE
Date: 2019-10-28
In Washington, the US DOE reports it will allocate $28 million in funding to to 13 projects aimed at wind energy cost reductions, with a focus on offshore, distributed and onshore utility-scale wind.

Of the total, as much as $10 million will go to two offshore wind technology demonstration projects -- Lake Erie Energy Development Corp (LEEDCo) will deploy innovative sensing technologies for tracking bird activity near wind turbines, while the University of Maine will develop a floating substructure design for a 10 MW -- 12 MW wind turbine and install it at a project off Maine.

Roughly $7 million will support the testing of innovative offshore wind technologies at national-level testing facilities, with the funding to be shared by six projects including Clemson University which is aiming to improve offshore wind turbine nacelle testing. In another project, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Centre in Boston is seeking to upgrade its testing facility to make possible the structural testing of wind turbine blades with lengths of between 85 metres and 120 metres.

Other recipients include Oregon State University of Corvallis for tests on the combined effects of wind and waves on floating offshore wind turbines. Four of the 13 selected projects will receive a total of $6 million to support rural utilities by developing technologies that integrate wind with other distributed energy resources. (Source: US DOE, 23 Oct., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News US DOE,  Wind,  


Oil from Woody Biomass Developed at U Maine (New Prod & Tech)
University of Maine
Date: 2019-05-29
In the Pine Tree State, the University of Maine in Orono is reporting a team from its Forest Bioproducts Research Institute's (FBRI) pilot plant has developed a chemicals-free process that turns wood biomass into clean, crude oil using heat and pressure.

According to the release, the method was discovered by undergraduate students experimenting with salt and high temperatures when they found that a particular kind of mixed-salt produced crude oil vapors. With a 20-minute process of high heat and pressure, wood pulp is turned into acid before it is turned into salt, which produces the crude oil when introduced to high temperatures. which can be processed just like any oil refinery and make gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel.

The current production is about 1 tpd when the plant is running, but the private sector is interested in the engineering data, which is a patent protected and available for companies to amplify research. (Source: University of Maine, FBRI, Woodworking Network, 27 May, 2019) Contact: University of Maine, FBRI, Hemant Pendse, Director, (207) .581.1489 Fax: 207.581.9418 fbri@maine.edu , https://forestbioproducts.umaine.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biofuel,  


U.Maine Advances Honeywell Renewable Energy Project (Ind Report)
University of Maine,Honeywell
Date: 2019-04-08
Following up on our 22 May, 2018 report, the University of Maine System trustees are reporting the authorization of up to $5.7 million to advance negotiations with Honeywell International for a long-term energy contract worth up to $165 million to shift the University of Maine systems Orono campus from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources including biomass.

The newly approved funds begin the second phase of negotiations, providing Honeywell up to $4.2 million to solidify the design and provide more precise information on the project scope and financials. The other $1.5 million is for the university to hire experts for its own work on the project. Once the second phase is completed, Honeywell will provide "a firm fixed price" for the Board's approval.

The energy system conversion is being driven in part by University of Maine's goal of virtually eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Honeywell says its project will achieve 85 percent of that goal. The university presently spends $10 million +- per year on electricity and heat. That expense could be cut to $4.3 million with a proposed new biomass power plant and solar array.

The proposed on campus 6-MW central heating and power plant would burn approximately 70,000 tpy of wood chips from sustainably harvested local timber. The CHP plant would use natural gas and oil or liquid biofuels as backups for its boilers, as well as the 40MW solar array. A similar but smaller biomass facility at the University of Maine at Farmington campus burns 4,000 tpy of locally harvested hardwood chips, and replaced nearly 400,000 gallons of oil. (Source: University of Maine, Portland Press Herald, 5 April, 2019) Contact: University of Maine Orono, https://umaine.edu; Honeywell, www.honeywell.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Maine,  Honeywell,  Renewable Energy,  


UMass Wood Byproducts Renewable Fuel Additive R&D Funded (R&D)
US DOE
Date: 2018-12-14
The US DOE Co-Optima initiative has awarded a three-year, $1 million grant to a team of researchers led by a UMass Lowell for the development of renewable fuel additives from sawdust and other wood byproducts. The University of Maine and Rockledge, Florida-based Mainstream Engineering Corp. are also participating in the project.

The additive is intended to be mixed with diesel and other petroleum-based fuels to displace some volume of diesel with something renewable and help cut down the vehicle's carbon footprint. The biofuel-blend formulation will offer the same engine performance, but will ideally be easier and more environmentally friendly to produce. (Source: U Mass, US DOE, 12 Dec., 2018) Contact: UMass, Prof. Hunter Mack, Research Team Leader, http://uml.academia.edu/JohnHunterMack; Mainstream Engineering, (321) 631-3550, Fax: (321)631-3552, info@mainstream-engr.com, www.mainstream-engr.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Fuel,  Biomass,  Woody Biomass,  


UMaine Orono Investigating Woody Biomass Proposal (Ind. Report)
University of Maine Orono
Date: 2018-05-28
In the Pine Tree State, the University of Maine in Orono is considering a proposal from Honeywell International to provide "green" heat and electricity from an on-campus Renewable Energy Center.. The center would be fueled by locally sourced woody biomass and solar energy.

The proposed energy system conversion to woody biomass is being driven in part by the university's goal of virtually eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. Honeywell says its project will achieve 85 pct of that goal. The university presently spends roughly $10 million a year on electricity and heat, an amount the could be slashed to $4.3 million with the new power plant and solar array, Honeywell estimates.

The on campus 6-MW central heating and power plant would burn approximately 70,000 tpy of wood chips from sustainably harvested local timber. The CHP plant would use natural gas and oil or liquid biofuels as backups for its boilers, as well as the 40MW solar array. A similar but smaller biomass facility at the University of Maine at Farmington campus burns 4,000 tpy of locally harvested hardwood chips, and replaced nearly 400,000 gallons of oil. (Source: Univ. of Maine Orono, Honeywell International,, Portland Press Herald, 22 May, 2018) Contact: University of Maine Orono, https://umaine.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Honeywell,  Biomass Power,  


Woody Biomass Center Slated for Shuttered Old Town Maine Pulp & Paper Mill (Ind. Report)
OTM Holdings LLC
Date: 2018-02-05
In the Pine Tree State, OTM Holdings LLC, a joint venture by a Maine-based group is reporting the purchase of the long troubled Old Town Pulp and Paper mill complex. Terms of the acquisition have not been released.

OTM plans to redevelop the shuttered mill into a wood-fiber-based complex comprised of multiple tenants, including the University of Maine's Forest Bioproducts Research Institute Technology (FBRI), which presently occupies 40,000 square feet.

Last May, FBRI conducted a 100-hour demonstration of its continuous processing of 1 tpd of woody biomass into bio chemicals that can be used for biofuels, biochemicals and other advanced materials.

OTM's redevelopment foresees a fully integrated fiber-based campus capitalizing on the mill's energy platform and the region's plentiful woody biomass fiber supply. According to the OTM release, "This redevelopment is the beginning of what many see as the newest market for Maine's wood fiber, which transforms the cellulose-based, non-edible fiber and wood waste into clean and affordable high-value fuels, chemicals and milled and engineered wood products." (Source: FBRI, MaineBiz, Feb., 2018) Contact: University of Maine Forest Bioproducts Research Institute Technology, https://forestbioproducts.umaine.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Wood Pulp,  


Maine Halts New Wind Projects (Ind. Report)
Wind
Date: 2018-02-02
Last week in Augusta, Maine's Republican Governor Paul LePage issued a temporary stoppage on all new wind energy projects in Western and Coastal Maine. The moratorium will have a negative impact on the 14 proposed project in Maine but will exempt the preexisting Mars Hill wind farm in northern Maine. LePage reportedly sees wind turbines as a threat to his state's tourism industry, due to their size and appearance.

According to the Portland Press, wind power accounted for only 0.4 pct of Maine's electric power production in the summer of 2007, and jumped to nearly 25 pct by summer 2017. In 2016, Maine wind turbines generated three-fifths of all utility-scale wind power in New England, according to US Energy Information Administration data. (Source: University of Maine, Maine Campus, 29 Jan., 2018)Contact: Gov. Paul Page, www.maine.gov/governor

More Low-Carbon Energy News Wind,  Maine Wind,  


NEWBio Advances Sustaiable Biomass Energy (Ind. Report)
NEWBio
Date: 2017-09-11
The NorthEast Woody/Warm-season Biomass Consortium (NEWBio), a Northeastern U.S. regional network of universities, businesses and government entities reports that from 2012 to the present it has been working with $10 million in USDA funding to advance sustainable bioenergy and perennial biomass crops -- specifically warm-season grasses and short-rotation willow production strategies, policies and markets -- in the Northeastern U.S.

According to project director Tom Richard, NEWBio made tremendous progress building robust, scalable and sustainable value chains for bio-based energy, chemicals and materials across the Northeastern region.

Among its goals, NEWBio aimed to identify options where bioenergy crops could improve environmental outcomes without competing with food production. One was floodplains and buffers along streams where these crops can improve water quality. A second goal was to utilize abandoned and marginal lands using patented high-yielding willow and various warm-season grasses.

The NEWBio consortium includes the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Cornell University, Ohio State University, Delaware State University, Rutgers University, Drexel University, University of Vermont, SUNY-ESF, West Virginia University, Idaho National Laboratory, USDA-ARS, University of Maine and Stony Brook University. (Source: NEWBio, Penn State Univ., 8 Sept., 2017) Contact: Penn State Univ., Tom Richard, Project Director, 0291, trichard@psu.edu; NEWBio, (814) 863-0291, www.newbio.psu.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  Biomass Energy,  Sustainable Biomass,  Bioenergy Crops,  Willow,  Woody Biomass,  


Gulf of Maine to Host Most Offshore Wind, says BOEM (Ind. Report)
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
Date: 2017-06-14
Researchers from U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) are projecting that the Northeast will make up about one-third of U.S. offshore wind generation by 2050. The agency cites high wind speeds and shallow water depths that "allow for more cost effective construction with currently available wind turbine platform technology" for its projection.

BOEM also projects that the waters farther off the Gulf of Maine with faster winds will likely require floating turbines, like the design in development at the University of Maine -- see our March 14, 2016 UMass Developing Multiple Offshore Wind Anchorage System coverage for details. (Source: BOEM, BDN Maine, June, 2017) Contact: BOEM, (202) 208-6474, www.boem.gov

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bureau of Ocean Energy Management ,  Offshore Wind,  Floating Wind Turbines,  


Shuttered Paper Mill Considered for Biofuel Production (Ind. Report)
Biofine Technology
Date: 2017-05-15
Further to our May 8th coverage, shuttered paper mill in Old Town, Maine, is being considered by Biofine Framingham, Mass.-based Biofine Technology LLC as the future the site of a $60 million production facility to turn wood fiber into jet fuel.

Using technology developed by the University of Maine's Forest Bioproducts Research Institute, the Biofine plant could convert 200 tpd of biomass into 12,000 tons of crude oil for processing into diesel and jet fuel. The mill site includes a pulp mill, a 400,000-square-foot warehouse, and a biomass boiler.

The company, which hopes to break ground in a year, says it is negotiating with the mill's owner and seeking investors and financing. (Source: Biofine Technology, Woodworking Network, 10 May, 2017) Contact: Biofine Technology, Stephen Fitzpatrick, (508) 532-6760, http://biofinetechnology.com; University of Maine, Hemant Pendse, Director of Bioproduct Research, www.aiche.org/community/bio/hemant-pendse

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofine Technology,  Biofuel,  


Biofine Forest Biomass Pilot Plant Launched in Maine (Ind. Report)
Biofine Technology
Date: 2017-05-08
The University of Maine reports it is partnering with Framingham, Massachusetts-based Biofine Technology LLC to identify and develop new ways of using Maine's trees and forests.

Biofine Technology, which has developed a process for converting forest biomass and woody biomass wastes into useful chemicals, home heating and transportation fuels, has opened a new 1 tpd capacity pilot plant in Old Town, Maine. (Source: Biofine Technology, WABI, 3 May, 2017) Contact: Biofine Technology, Stephen Fitzpatrick, (508) 532-6760, http://biofinetechnology.com; University of Maine, Hemant Pendse, Director of Bioproduct Research, www.aiche.org/community/bio/hemant-pendse

More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofine Technology,  

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