New Route Proposed for Maine Power Express

The Developers of the Maine Power Express 1000MW HVDC Transmission Line have proposed a new route for the project. Details are available at the new Maine Power Express website, at www.mainepx.com

The Maine Power Express is Phase One of the Loring Energy Projects. The project will be installed in 115 miles of the 200 mile long Searsport-Loring Corridor in order to collect renewable resources under development in the southern Aroostook County region. As wind and renewable projects advance north, Phase Two of the Loring Energy projects includes an extension of the transmission line from Haynesville to Loring. 

Loring Holdings continues to promote in-region generation solutions and the expansion of natural gas for Northern Maine (Phase Three of the Loring Energy Projects). As such, we will be participating in the upcoming MPUC Investigation into the Northern Maine Electric Market and Proposals to Connect to the ISO-NE System. We will use this forum to keep all interested parties updated as this develops. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at: info@loringenergy.com.

Update on MPUC Rulings in Reliability and Contract Dockets

Loring Holdings proposed an 85MW Cogeneration facility to be located at the Loring Commerce Centre. The proposal served to:

  • Provide in-region generation
  • Resolve grid reliability concerns
  • Anchor the expansion of Natural Gas into the region

The proposal was being considered in two separate, but connected, cases before the Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC):

Docket 2014-00048 - Emera CPCN: An investigation into the reliability of the northern Maine electric system (Docket 2012-00589) led to multiple solutions being proposed by several parties. As a result, the MPUC Ordered Emera Maine to file for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) for approval to construct a new transmission line between Monticello, ME and Woodstock, New Brunswick, while also evaluating the competing proposals. Loring participated in this proceeding as a "Non-Transmission Alternative." Ultimately, due in large part to the reactivation of ReEnergy's Fort Fairfield and Ashland biomass plants, the MPUC denied Emera's request and Ordered instead a small upgrade to the existing Tinker Transformer as the temporary solution to the reliability concerns. They plan a "Phase Two" investigation into perceived market issues in northern Maine and to evaluate proposals to connect northern Maine to the larger ISO-NE system (from Bangor to Connecticut). As a result of this ruling, the Loring project was not selected as a reliability solution. Loring will participate in the upcoming Phase Two investigation.

Docket 2012-00504 - Long Term Contracting: Loring first proposed the 85MW Plant and Pipeline in March 2013. After several months, the MPUC asked us to participate in the CPCN proceeding mentioned above as a non-transmission alternative. In April 2014, the MPUC deliberated the proposal and in July, issued an Order denying the Long-Term Contract proposal. Loring issued a Petition for Reconsideration in August, 2015. In October, the MPUC denied the motion. We greatly appreciate the time and effort that the MPUC staff has put into this case and while we had hoped for a better outcome, in a spirit of cooperation and recognition of the costs of further administrative actions for all interested parties, we will not be seeking an appeal. 

We will push on and continue to advocate for in-region generation and the expansion of natural gas for northern Maine. We will seek new opportunities for electric and thermal off takers for a power plant that could anchor natural gas infrastructure. Our focus now is on Phase One of the Loring Energy Projects, the Maine Power Express transmission line from Boston to Haynesville. Phase Two will potentially expand the line from Haynesville to Loring, while Phase Three will be the natural gas projects.

We appreciate your interest in and support for these projects. We are private developers working hard to bring economic development opportunities to northern Maine and will stay focused on this goal. 

Clean Energy RFP Submitted for Approval

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island utilities have finalized a Clean Energy RFP and it has been submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for approval. Learn more here. It is expected to be delivered to the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission soon. Connecticut doesn't require approval. 

New England is working hard to lower carbon emissions and replace nearly 8300MWs of retiring or at-risk Oil and Coal generation resources. Learn more here. This RFP could be a good start, as it offers up to 575MWs under a Power Purchase Agreement between the three states for qualifying resources. 

The developers of the Maine Power Express are committed to delivering 1000MWs of clean, renewable energy from northern Maine and Canada to the Boston market and will be evaluating this RFP opportunity. 

Transmission Development in New England

An article posted yesterday in the New Hampshire Union Leader (link), provides an interesting perspective on what it takes to successfully develop a transmission project in New England. The key take-aways are:

  • New England needs new sources of electricity due to pending closures of older plants
  • Transmission is likely required to achieve this
  • Public support for a project from day one is important
  • Underground transmission projects, while often more expensive, appear easier to permit
  • The public prefers the visual and environmental advantages of underground transmission

The Maine Power Express is a proposed 1000MW underground/underwater transmission line and a significant element of the Loring Energy Projects. As the New England Clean Energy RFP is being refined, we are continuing the development of this project to resolve the north-south transmission constraints, lower greenhouse gas emissions and bring true economic development opportunities to northern Maine and New England. 

Three New England States Seeking Clean Energy and Transmission

As has been anticipated for several years, three New England states, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, (the "Soliciting Parties") have teamed up to solicit proposals for "Clean Energy and Transmission to Deliver Clean Energy." The Soliciting Parties have issued a DRAFT Request for Proposals ("RFP") and are accepting comments between today and March 27th with an official RFP expected soon thereafter. A website was created to document the process and is located at www.CleanEnergyRFP.com.

The developers of the Loring Energy Projects have been preparing for this solicitation for a number of years and plan to respond to the RFP with a proposal to deliver 1000MW of clean energy, collected at the Loring Commerce Centre and delivered via HVDC transmission lines underground in the Searsport-Loring Corridor and underwater to Boston, Massachusetts. The project is referred to as the Maine Power Express and more information about the project can be found at www.mainepx.com.

We are excited about the opportunity to participate in the highly competitive bid process and look forward to providing our comments on the draft RFP and the issuance of the official RFP. Stay tuned...

Article: Battle Brewing Over Renewable Energy & Natural Gas Subsidies

An article was posted today in The Free Press addressing the current status of the New England States Committee on Electricity's (NESCOE) initiatives. 

"Through NESCOE, the six New England governors have outlined two energy objectives: Maine wants natural gas, and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts want renewable energy in order to meet strict carbon reduction targets. In addition to subsidizing the proposed natural gas pipeline, a regional multi-state plan would also help finance the transmission of power from local wind projects and large Canadian hydro plants."

The Developers of the Loring Energy Projects are dedicated to expanding natural gas infrastructure into northern Maine, gas-fired combined cycle generation for electricity and heat for industrial manufacturing and processing, and HVDC transmission of wind and hydro power resources from northern Maine and Canada to New England. 

We will continue to work with third parties, regulators and officials throughout Maine and New England to help seize this unique demand-driven opportunity to bring significant energy savings and economic development opportunities to the Loring Commerce Centre. 

Read the full article by clicking here: http://freepressonline.com/main.asp?SectionID=52&SubSectionID=78&ArticleID=37035

2015: Opportunities and Challenges

Happy New Year! We hope that you've had a wonderful holiday season and that you are ready to face the opportunities and challenges this new year will bring. 

We are working hard on two major projects: 1) Anchor Power and 2) the Maine Power Express and we'd like to take a moment to update you on each of them. 

Anchor Power is a proposed 85MW Cogeneration Power Plant that would deliver electricity to Northern Maine ratepayers, Heat & Steam for industrial processing and would "anchor" the expansion of natural gas infrastructure into Northern Maine for industrial, commercial and residential consumers. 

In order to make the project a reality, we are working to secure a long-term power purchase agreement via an MPUC Order in Dockets 2012-00504 and 2014-00048. We must demonstrate the proposal meets Maine statutory regulations, is technically feasible, economically viable and can receive the necessary financing. This is a daunting task, but we have assembled an excellent development team to make it happen. The first quarter of 2015 will be a very busy time working with the MPUC staff to demonstrate the viability of the project. 

The Maine Power Express is a proposed underground/underwater transmission project that would bring Maine Wind, Canadian Hydro power and other resources to the New England market.

We are keeping a close eye on the newly elected officials, Maine Commissioners and NESCOE updates to prepare to respond to a possible request for proposals. There are many projects proposed to do this, but with the location of the Loring Commerce Centre and the existing Searsport-Loring Right of Way, we believe the Maine Power Express is the most likely to achieve the required permits. 

We appreciate your support as we work to bring energy infrastructure and economic development opportunities to Aroostook County and look forward to what this new year will bring. 

Loring Files Revised Proposal in Two MPUC Proceedings

On December 16, 2014, Loring Holdings, the lead developer of the Loring Energy Projects, filed a revised proposal in both the 2012-00504 Long-Term Contract RFP docket and the 2014-00048 Emera CPCN Proceeding. Learn more here

Loring has revised its proposal to construct an 85MW Cogeneration Facility at the Loring Commerce Centre and a 157 mile 12" natural gas pipeline in the existing Searsport-Loring Corridor to serve the plant and provide access to low-cost, clean-burning natural gas for the businesses and residents of Northern Maine. 

The filing includes Supplemental Testimony and supporting materials from CH2M HillAnalysis GroupDTE Energy Traders and Summit Natural Gas, among others. 

The revised proposal is accessible here, filing number 186. Certain filings containing pricing and business terms are confidential under Protective Order #6, however, the majority of the filing is open to the public. 

Loring strongly believes we have presented the MPUC with a solution to the reliability issue in Northern Maine and an opportunity to bring real economic development to area. 

MPUC Moves to Phase II for Lower Energy Costs

During its 2013 session, the Maine Legislature enacted The Maine Energy Cost Reduction Act. The Act contains the finding that the expansion of natural gas transmission pipeline capacity into Maine and other states in New England could result in lower natural gas prices and, by extension, lower electricity prices for consumers in Maine.

To facilitate the expansion of natural gas transmission pipeline capacity into the region and the State, the Act authorizes the Commission, in consultation with the Public Advocate and the Governor's Energy Office, to execute an Energy Cost Reduction Contract (ECRC) in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Yesterday, the MPUC issued "2014-00071 Order - Phase 1" (download it here), in which they state they will proceed to a Phase 2 proceeding and invite Energy Cost Reduction Contract proposals for their consideration. The MPUC will perform an independent cost-benefit analysis of each proposal that is submitted to inform their determination as to whether sufficient benefits will result to Maine consumers of natural gas and electricity to warrant entering an Energy Cost Reduction Contract.

This is good news for Maine businesses and families. Wisely, the MPUC will take a very cautionary approach and deeply scrutinize all proposals to ensure the benefits will indeed be passed on to ratepayers. It is also good for the NESCOE initiative and shows promise that the region can revive the efforts to increase access to natural gas and bring renewable energy from Northern Maine and Canada into the New England market to lower GHG emissions. This impacts the Anchor Power Cogeneration project and Loring Pipeline-2 project by lowering natural gas transmission costs and the Maine Power Express project by potentially reviving the NESCOE efforts. 

Loring Announces Plan to Submit Revised Proposal

At the Initial Case Conference for Emera's CPCN for new transmission (Docket 2014-00048), held today at the MPUC offices, Loring announced plans to submit a revision to our proposal to solve the reliability problem through in-region generation and expand access to natural gas.

Significant progress has been made since the original Testimony of Project Sponsors was submitted in early June, 2014. New parties have entered the case, including the landowners along the various transmission paths being proposed by other parties, and the Hearing Examiners are preparing a Bench Analysis. Therefore, with the revised proposal, Loring will ensure that the most accurate and up-to-date information about the project proposal is available to all parties.

This case presents the strongest opportunity to bring signifiant economic development to Northern Maine through in-region generation and natural gas infrastructure. The revised proposal is expected to be provided on November 20th and Loring will respond to questions and take Oral Data Requests on December 18th at the scheduled Technical Conference. 

Learn more at www.loringenergy.com/reliability or contact us at info@loringenergy.com.