The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Tuesday voted unanimously to clear the off-take contract for the 12-MW Aqua Ventus floating offshore wind project in the Gulf of Maine.
The move comes after in June governor Janet Mills signed legislation directing the commission to approve the delayed power purchase agreement (PPA) between Central Maine Power Co and the developer of the Aqua Ventus project.
The initial plan is for for Aqua Ventus to feature 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 (UMaine). The centre, the university, Cianbro Corp and Naval Energies, formerly known as DCNS Energies, make up the project consortium.
Just recently, UMaine announced it won funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop an alternative floating substructure design for a 10 MW-12 MW wind turbine in place of the two 6-MW turbine floating demonstrator planned for deployment off Monhegan Island, Maine. The department said that UMaine will share up to USD 10 million (EUR 9m) with another project, led by Ohio-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corp.
“We are hopeful we can reduce the Monhegan project from two floating platforms to a single slightly larger platform, reducing the hardware in the water, total amount of blade swept area, and impacts to the environment and fisheries," commented Habib Dagher, executive director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.903)
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