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Statoil Puts Maine Offshore Wind Project on Hold
07/03/2013 03:25 PM ET  

The company says the reason is an amendment to the energy reform bill enacted earlier this month that allowed the University of Maine to directly compete with Statoil for the already-approved project.

Statoil North America has told Maine legislative leaders that it's putting its offshore wind development project in Maine on hold until the fall.

The company says the reason is an amendment to the energy reform bill enacted earlier this month that allowed the University of Maine to directly compete with Statoil for the already-approved project. The amendment was backed by Republicans, including Gov. Paul LePage.

Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall, a Richmond Democrat, says he and Senate President Justin Alfond spoke with Statoil officials this morning in a conference call.

"The executives made it very clear that the risk and uncertainty created by the amendment put forth by the Republicans and the governor has jeopardized the project and they're going to be putting it on hold - the project's going to be shelved until late fall," Goodall says. "It's very disappointing."

The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved Norway-based Statoil's $120-million floating wind turbine test project in January. The company's plans include more than $200 million in offshore wind investments in the region, which backers said would create hundreds of jobs and put Maine on the map as a leader in innovation.

In a letter to the Maine PUC, Statoil officials say the comapny "cannot continue to spend its resoruces on this project without certainty that a contract for the project output will be finalized."
 

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