The state of Maine on Friday lodged an application with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) for a lease in federal waters in the Gulf of Maine to host a floating offshore wind research project.
The state plans to install up to 12 turbines with an overall capacity of up to 144 MW on floating concrete hulls developed by the University of Maine and called VolturnUS at the 15.2-square-mile (39.4 sq km) site some 30 miles (48 km) off the coast.
The project is intended to advance UMaine’s technology and explore the floating offshore wind park’s interaction with the local marine environment, fishing industry, shipping and navigation routes.
The application comes after legislation authorised the Maine Public Utilities Commission to negotiate a power purchase agreement (PPA) with New England Aqua Ventus, the university’s offshore wind development partner. New England Aqua Ventus is a joint venture of Diamond Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp (TYO:8058), and RWE Renewables.
“The research project will help establish the best way for our state to embrace the vast economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind,” said governor Janet Mills.
“The abundant renewable energy potential in the Gulf of Maine is important for Maine’s long-term targets to transition to 100 percent clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow our economy,” said Dan Burgess, director of the governor’s energy office.
Securing all permits is expected to take several years.
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