CleanTechnica is the #1 cleantech-focused
website
 in the world.


Wind Energy fox_island

Published on November 17th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

5

100% Wind-Powered Island off Maine Financed Using Electricity Co-op

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

November 17th, 2009 by
 

In a nearly unanimous vote just last summer, members of Maine’s Fox Island Electric Cooperative decided to invest in wind to power the island.

[social_buttons]

Today the $14.5 million Fox Islands Wind project officially goes on line with a ribbon-cutting event, marking the completion of Maine’s first island wind project; the largest community-owned wind project on the East Coast.

To be able to take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credits for any renewable power that does not emit greenhouse gases (like natural gas, coal or oil), the co-op formed a for-profit subsidiary; Fox Islands Wind LLC. The cost to build the three 1.5-megawatt turbines to supply their community power was $14 million.

They raised the funds by getting a $9.5 million loan from the USDA and also finding an angel investor, Diversified Communications from Portland; that invested $5 million in return for tax credits.

The community owned coop is betting that wind will deliver them cheaper electricity  than the $0.30 a kwh they pay now. Because all the islanders’ electricity comes 12 miles from the mainland in an underground cable, energy losses raise their electricity prices.

The 4.5 MW wind farm (of just three turbines) is expected to be able to cover 100% of their energy needs, for the 2,000 of them on the two islands, but residents number over 5,000 in the summer during tourist season.

Excess power during winter months will be sold into the grid, so the return on their investment gets even better. Each member’s share of a 100% wind-powered electricity supply for 25 years? $7,000.

Not only are the three 1.5 MW wind turbines community owned, but Cianbro, the company installing it is an employee-owned company. There must be something in the water. Their job:

Provide support for permitting, engineering and procurement of the turbines

Clear the site; build the site road and pour the concrete foundations

Erect the three GE 1.5 MW wind turbines, including tower sections, nacelle, hub and blades

Install all the grid interconnections, SCADA and communications systems

There is no profit being made because Fox Island Electric Cooperative is a co-op; but the island resident members will benefit from having a stable supply of lower priced clean energy which supplies 100% of their electricity needs.

There might be more tourists next summer, too, as more people come out to see how their neighborhood can make their own clean energy.

Source: Cianbro

Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

Print Friendly

Share on Google+Share on RedditShare on StumbleUponTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on FacebookPin on PinterestDigg thisShare on TumblrBuffer this pageEmail this to someone

Tags: , , , , , ,


About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • Uncle B

    Into wind just in time! All fuels about to skyrocket with huge inflationary forces afoot due to falling American dollar! Also: The Asian Fact: they bid against a weakened dollar with stronger Yuan for world’s resources including oil, coal, uranium, driving those prices through the roof for Yankee Doodle with his “Biggest in History” foreign debt and dollar diving daily due to government spending, printing! The books are on your side, you will pay off this debt 20 cents on the dollar as the inflation hits! the paper debt remains fixed in ink! Dollar value does not – the old American lever for buying internationally (oil) working for you now! Wait long enough and you can pay this debt off with American postage stamps, Goddammit! Good move.

  • Uncle B

    Into wind just in time! All fuels about to skyrocket with huge inflationary forces afoot due to falling American dollar! Also: The Asian Fact: they bid against a weakened dollar with stronger Yuan for world’s resources including oil, coal, uranium, driving those prices through the roof for Yankee Doodle with his “Biggest in History” foreign debt and dollar diving daily due to government spending, printing! The books are on your side, you will pay off this debt 20 cents on the dollar as the inflation hits! the paper debt remains fixed in ink! Dollar value does not – the old American lever for buying internationally (oil) working for you now! Wait long enough and you can pay this debt off with American postage stamps, Goddammit! Good move.

  • Uncle B

    Into wind just in time! All fuels about to skyrocket with huge inflationary forces afoot due to falling American dollar! Also: The Asian Fact: they bid against a weakened dollar with stronger Yuan for world’s resources including oil, coal, uranium, driving those prices through the roof for Yankee Doodle with his “Biggest in History” foreign debt and dollar diving daily due to government spending, printing! The books are on your side, you will pay off this debt 20 cents on the dollar as the inflation hits! the paper debt remains fixed in ink! Dollar value does not – the old American lever for buying internationally (oil) working for you now! Wait long enough and you can pay this debt off with American postage stamps, Goddammit! Good move.

  • http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com Rod Adams

    What happens when the wind does not blow? I assume that power in that case will come via the normal underwater power line.

    Since actual power lost on a 12 mile line is very small, I presume that part of the cost of the 30 cents per kilowatt hour electricity cost is to pay for the maintenance required on the line. If there is less power delivered over the line, but the maintenance costs remain constant then it seems to me that each kilowatt hour will have to cover a larger portion of the maintenance costs.

  • http://atomicinsights.blogspot.com Rod Adams

    What happens when the wind does not blow? I assume that power in that case will come via the normal underwater power line.

    Since actual power lost on a 12 mile line is very small, I presume that part of the cost of the 30 cents per kilowatt hour electricity cost is to pay for the maintenance required on the line. If there is less power delivered over the line, but the maintenance costs remain constant then it seems to me that each kilowatt hour will have to cover a larger portion of the maintenance costs.

Back to Top ↑