Changing energy markets have led the Maine Public Utility Commission to delay approval of a power agreement for the nation’s first offshore floating wind venture, dealing a blow to the project set to begin construction this year. Before making a decision, the agency on Jan. 9 voted for an extended public-comment period on the proposed contract between Aqua Ventus and Central Maine Power. Current power wholesale-market forecasts are 7¢ per kWh, but the Maine project starts at 23¢ and escalates yearly at 2.25%, says Tony Buxton, an attorney for the Maine project. The commission recently approved a solar project that has an initial price of 3.4¢ per kWh. Despite the development, Buxton says the wind-farm developers remain optimistic.
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