DOE Offers Conditional Commitment for a Loan Guarantee to Support Maine Wind Energy Project

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the offer of a conditional commitment to Record Hill Wind LLC for a $102 million loan guarantee. The loan guarantee will support the Record Hill wind power project, which includes a 50.6 megawatt wind farm and an eight mile transmission line and associated interconnection equipment near the town of Roxbury, Maine.

Developed and managed by Wagner Wind Energy of New Hampshire and Independence Wind of Maine, Record Hill is sponsored by the Yale University Endowment fund. In addition to providing clean, renewable power to New England’s grid, the sponsor expects the project to create 200 construction jobs in Maine.

"Today’s announcement is good for this country’s clean energy future, and it’s good for the people of Maine who will benefit from the jobs generated by this project," said Secretary Chu. "Record Hill introduces an innovative technology to the U.S. that will boost domestic wind power generation and help us reach President Obama’s goal of doubling clean energy produced in America by 2035."

The Record Hill project will avoid over 70,000 tons of carbon pollution annually, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from over 13,000 passenger vehicles. The wind facility will consist of 22 2.3 megawatt SWT-2.3-93 wind turbines and new transmission lines to interconnect with Central Maine Power, the local utility.

The wind turbines will be installed with innovative Turbine Load Control (TLC) technology, a system of sensors and processing software that allows the wind turbines to continue to generate electricity under turbulent conditions, rather than be shut down completely. TLC is also expected to reduce wear-and-tear on the turbines, reduce operation and management costs, and preserve the lifetime of the wind turbine components.

The Department of Energy, through the Loan Programs Office, has issued loan guarantees or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees totaling nearly $18 billion to support 20 clean energy projects. The program’s nine generation projects will produce nearly 23 million megawatt-hours, enough to power almost two million homes. Additional DOE-supported projects include two of the world’s largest solar thermal projects, two geothermal energy projects and the world’s largest wind farm.