LePage says offshore wind project will cost taxpayers almost $200 million

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Maine already has the 12th highest energy costs in the country; offshore wind project will raise prices on Mainers

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage responded to the Maine Public Utilities Commission vote Thursday to approve the Statoil North America, Inc. proposal for a long-term contract with Maine utilities for the development of an offshore wind project. As proposed, this project would cost nearly $200 million, an exorbitant price to be paid for by Mainer ratepayers.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) voted 2-1 on Thursday morning to allow Statoil North America, Inc. to move ahead with plans. PUC Chairman Thomas Welch and Commissioner David Littell approved the proposal. Commissioner Mark Vannoy voted against it.

“Today’s decision by the PUC and any policy that raises electricity costs is irresponsible. Maine has the 12thhighest energy costs in the country and this vote forces Mainers to pay even higher prices for the next 20 years,” said Governor LePage.

Statoil North America, Inc. requests Maine ratepayers to absorb above market electricity rates totaling $188.6 million to subsidize the project. Annual costs to Mainers for this pilot project are estimated to total more than $10 million during the next two decades.

“Furthermore, to attract business, we must be competitive and foster an environment that attracts investment to lower energy prices, not raise them. This vote will exacerbate our economic challenges, and it compounds Maine’s competitive disadvantages,” added the Governor.

On Wednesday, Patrick Woodcock, the Governor’s Energy Director, submitted comments to the PUC regarding the Statoil North America, Inc. proposal for the development the Hywind offshore wind pilot project. In those comments, Woodcock raises concerns relative to the cost passed on to Maine consumers and overall economic benefit to the State of Maine.

1 COMMENT

  1. “unneeded”? how so? I thought you liberals believe that CASINOS breed crime and with the new casino nearby, that new Prison is needed. Got a study to go with your ideology showing it’s unneeded?

  2. The problem is that Mainers are subsidizing a foreign conglomerate worth billions of dollars. Bad enough IBEROLA controls CMP now, and who knows how many other vultures are waiting to gobble up successful Maine companies…..but why does Maine’s Middle Class have to pay them?

  3. Maine Citizens can not continue to absorb increased or new expenses. Everyone’s live-on budget has a saturation point. This is true for individuals and for businesses. Projects costing millions of dollars to Mainers makes moving to other states look good for individuals and businesses. What is PUC thinking?

  4. The Maine PUC has been transformed and has become a political enemy to electric consumers. Isn’t there anyone in State Legislature that sees this? Are you all blind?

  5. Just as a point of information, Statoil’s chief stock holder and controller is the Norwegian government. Its profits helps to feed a lavish welfare state. Surely that’s an accidental form of “greed.”

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