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Loring Development Authority meeting concerning finances and energy projects

| October 23, 2013

Members of the Loring Development Authority, Legislators, and Representatives from Loring Holdings as well as several other companies gathered at the LDA building in Limestone this morning for a meeting concerning finances and conceptual energy projects. Money was on the mind of stakeholders at the Loring Development Authority meeting on Wednesday. Downsizing of the Maine Military Authoirty has lead to a perspective loss of revenue.

President and CEO of the Loring Development Authority Carl W. Flora said,  “We’re projecting a revenue shortfall this year of slightly over $350,000.”

In order to balance out the books at the end of the year, some cutbacks may need to be made on expenses. The President of the LDA says although they may be facing some headwinds financially, there are possibilities for economically beneficial projects in the works.

Many topics were touched upon in Wednesday’s meeting, but one of the main focuses was on proposed energy projects in Aroostook County. One project is called the Maine Power Express, that has 2 components. One of which is to build a natural gas fired power plant at Loring that would provide electricity locally. The other component is a natural gas pipeline which would be constructed in the Searsport to Loring corridor.

President and CEO of the Loring Development Authority Carl W. Flora said,  “Not only would we get a natural gas power plant, but natural gas would for the first time become available in Aroostook County via a pipeline.”

The energy grid in Aroostook County is not connected to the rest of the state, instead it’s connected to New Brunswick. There isn’t much local generation, but proposed energy projects could potentially change that.

President and CEO of the Loring Development Authority Carl W. Flora said, “There would be several benefits one would be the possibility that we would have a more competitive and lower cost electric energy market in Northern Maine another benefit would be that if the natural gas power plant is built and a pipeline is constructed to support that, natural gas would be available throughout Aroostook County.”

At this point in time, these are just conceptual projects; that would facilitate the movement of renewable energy sources and bring a more competitive electrical energy market to the County.

There was also discussion of a proposed electrical transmission line that would run from Loring to Searsport underground and underwater to Boston. The CEO of the Loring Development Authority says if any of the proposed energy projects do move forward, they would take several years to be completed.

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