Maine governor signs bill to advance Aqua Ventus floating wind demo

VolturnUS 1:8. Source: Maine Aqua Ventus (maineaquaventus.com)

June 21 (Renewables Now) - Maine governor Janet Mills has signed legislation directing the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PSC) to approve the off-take contract for what will be the first floating offshore wind project in the US -- the 12-MW Aqua Ventus.

LD 994 directs the PUC to approve the delayed power purchase agreement (PPA) between Central Maine Power Co and the developer of the Aqua Ventus project, the state government announced on Wednesday.

The Aqua Ventus demonstration project, supported by the US government with USD 39.9 million (EUR 35.3m) in grants, will use two 6-MW turbines mounted on floating semi-submersible concrete hulls called the VolturnUS, designed by the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine. The centre, the university, Cianbro Corp and Naval Energies, formerly known as DCNS Energies, are the participants in the project consortium.

“With the innovative work being done at University of Maine, our state has the potential to lead the world in floating offshore wind development,” said governor Mills. She also announced that Maine will take part in a federal-led intergovernmental task force on offshore wind, together with New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The goal of the alliance will be to identify opportunities for renewable energy leasing and development on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine.

In line with its offshore wind ambitions, Maine will create the so-called Maine Offshore Wind Initiative, which will also be tasked with seeking options for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.886)

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