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Univ. Maine, NASA to Monitor Forest Climate Progress (Ind. Report)
University of Maine, NASA
Date: 2020-11-11
The University of Maine Center for Research on Sustainable Forests is reporting receipt of $500,000 in grant funding for a three-year study to help NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation science team develop and test methods for mapping carbon deposits and biological changes across a large, complex swath of eastern forest.

The researchers will use data from NASA's newly launched ecosystem LiDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) instrument, orbiting the Earth on the International Space Station. Michigan State University and the University of Minnesota will also participate in the study and will add the LiDAR data to their "FORest Carbon Estimation" project aimed at understanding and predicting how forests respond to changes in climate.

Maine's forest and associated industry currently offset 75 pct of the state's annual carbon emissions, according to recent estimates by Center for Research on Sustainable Forests researchers. Maine is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2045 through reduced emissions and innovative policies to increase carbon sequestration, according to a release. (Source: Univ. of Maine, Maine Biz, Nov., 2020) Contact: NASA, (301) 286-2000, www.nasa.gov; University of Maine Center for Research on Sustainable Forests, Aaron Weiskittel, Dir., 207-581-3794, www.crsf.umaine.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News NASA,  Climate Change,  GHG,  


UMaine Joins $147Mn Floating Offshore Wind Effort (Ind. Report)
University of Maine, Aqua Ventus
Date: 2020-08-07
The University of Maine (UMaine) reports it will collaborate with New England Aqua Ventus LLC, which includes Diamond Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., and RWE Renewables , that are investing $100 million in a project aimed at showing the feasibility of a full-scale, floating wind turbine in deep water. The $100 million investment is in addition to $47 million in grants already awarded by the U.S. DOE.

Using a floating concrete hull designed to last 100 years the project will support a 10- to 12-MW wind turbine 2 miles south of Monhegan Island and 14 miles from the Maine coast. Three mooring lines will anchor the hull in 300 feet of water.

UMaine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center will continue with design and engineering, research and development and post-construction monitoring. So far, the VolturnUS technology has been issued 43 patents and is being licensed by UMaine to New England Aqua Ventus for this project. Aqua Ventus will own and manage permitting, construction, assembly, deployment and ongoing operations. Following extensive permitting, deployment is expected by 2023. (Source: University of Maine, Kennebec Sentinel, 5 Aug., 2020) Contact: Maine Aqua Ventus, Meghan Collins, (207) 581-2117, www.maineaquaventus.com; University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center, Dr. Habib Dagher, Exec. Dir., 207-581-2123, www.composites.umaine.edu

More Low-Carbon Energy News University of Maine,  Floating Wind,  Offshore Wind,  Aqua Ventus ,  


$10.3Mn in Offshore Wind R&D Grants Announced (Ind. Report)
National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium
Date: 2020-06-08
The not-for-profit National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium (the Consortium) is reporting the selection of 12 projects for contract negotiation, completing its first solicitation for offshore wind research and development technology projects.

The 12 awards totaling $10.3 million will support a variety of research areas, including comprehensive U.S. supply chain analyses, studying the impacts of offshore wind on the electric grid system and innovations in anchoring structures. The awarded projects include:

  • Demonstration of Shallow-Water Mooring Components for FOWTs (ShallowFloat)-- Principle Power Inc.;

  • Design and Certification of Taut-synthetic Moorings for Floating Wind Turbines -- University of Maine;

  • Dual-Functional Tuned Inerter Damper for Enhanced Semi-Sub Offshore Wind Turbine -- Virginia Tech University;

  • Innovative Anchoring System for Floating Offshore Wind, Triton Systems Inc.:

  • Techno-Economic Mooring Configuration and Design for Floating Offshore Wind -- University of Massachusetts Amherst.

    As the first federally-funded public-private partnership focused on advancing offshore wind technology in the U.S., the Consortium supports the cost-effective and responsible development of offshore wind to maximize the economic benefit to the country.

    Virginia, Massachusetts and Maryland also contribute to the Consortium's funding. NYSERDA administered the initial solicitation on behalf of the Consortium. (Source: National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, PR, JUne, 2020) Contact: National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium, Carrie Cullen Hitt, Exec. Dir., www.nationaloffshorewind.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News National Offshore Wind Research and Development Consortium,  Offshore Wind,  Wind,  


  • 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,  

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