Maine Energy Official Backs Away from Offshore Wind Criticism

Gov. Paul LePage’s top energy official says he may have spoke prematurely when he recently expressed concern over the high price of electricity produced by offshore wind farms. Ken Fletcher, head of the Maine Office of Energy Independence and Security, was quoted recently as being worried by estimates that offshore wind power will cost around 27 cents per kilowatt hour, 11 cents higher than existing rates. But after a meeting with the man leading the state’s research efforts in offshore wind, Fletcher says those concerns may have been unjustified.

“I think there was a little bit of a misunderstanding which I may have caused,” Fletcher says. He says he based his 27 cents estimate on the cost of a planned pilot project due to start producing power next year off Monhegan Island. He now accepts that this price factors in the cost of research and development.

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