On December 5, Maine Aqua Ventus I GP, LLC filed with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and released fully to the public the draft Term Sheet resulting from discussions of its Maine Aqua Ventus I offshore wind proposal with the PUC staff.
The Term Sheet is part of the project’s pursuit of a Power Purchase Agreement to be ordered by the PUC and highlights the important benefits that Maine Aqua Ventus I will provide to Maine’s economy and environment.
The draft Term Sheet outlines the conditions under which Maine Aqua Ventus I will sell an estimated 43,000 megawatt hours per year to the grid from its two, six-megawatt turbines at a price of 23 cents per kilowatt hour. Maine Aqua Ventus I is projected to create up to 341 full- and part-time jobs in an economic analysis by University of Maine economist Dr. Todd Gabe, which was released with the draft Term Sheet. Dr. Gabe has extensive experience measuring the economic impact of projects in Maine and his report is based on a well-regarded IMPLAN econometric model.
“Maine Aqua Ventus I GP, LLC is pleased, after weeks of discussion with PUC staff, to have the public see the proposed term sheet that reflects our commitment to develop the project with maximum economic benefit to our home state,” said Jake Ward, speaking on behalf of Maine Aqua Ventus I GP, LLC. “All three general partners have deep roots in Maine, and are dedicated to creating cleaner energy, jobs and educational opportunities for Maine people.”
Ward went on to discuss the significant job-creation impact of the project, “Dr. Gabe’s report demonstrates that investment in Maine Aqua Ventus I has the potential to create hundreds of jobs in Maine.”
The Term Sheet describes the significant impacts Maine Aqua Ventus I will provide to Maine’s economy, including:
· A minimum of $120 million of investment in this project which may rise to as much as $166 million depending on the project’s development.
· At least 50% of this investment will be paid to Maine-based entities. Without considering the cost of the turbines (which are not manufactured in Maine, or anywhere else in the United States), this represents 70% of the non-turbine capital expenditures being paid to Maine-based entities.
· A project-wide preference for hiring Maine-based entities, consistent with state and federal law, with the goal of maximizing local suppliers and contractors providing goods and services during construction and operation of the project.
· Significant project outreach efforts to ensure that Maine companies and workers are fully aware of the business and employment opportunities the project presents, including supplier workshops and specialized training events.
· The development of a unique science, mathematics and technology curriculum connected to Maine Aqua Ventus I to be provided to Maine public high schools, as well as collaborating with Maine’s public higher education institutions to develop programs to educate and train undergraduate and graduate degree students in science, engineering, and business fields.
· The project will connect Monhegan Island to the electric grid for the first time in its history, and will provide the Monhegan Power District up to 340 megawatt hours of electricity each year for 20 years, free of charge, and the installation of infrastructure to achieve this goal. It will also connect the island to the mainland for the first time by fiber optic cable, allowing increased internet access speed on the island.
· A commitment to spend at least $7 million on research and development, design and engineering and environmental monitoring provided by the University of Maine, its faculty and its students.
· The availability of all of MAV’s valuable intellectual property to the University of Maine for the state’s ongoing benefit.
If the PUC approves a draft Term Sheet and a power purchase agreement is finalized, Maine Aqua Ventus I will be highly competitive against five other projects around the U.S. in its pursuit of U.S. Department of Energy funding that is to be awarded mid-May 2014.
Press release, December 9, 2013; Image: Maine Aqua Ventus