Story at a glance
- Gov. Janet Mill’s office on Friday submitted an application with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease a 15 square mile area in federal waters in the Gulf of Maine.
- The body of water is ideal for offshore wind operations as it experiences some of the highest sustained wind speeds.
- The state is aiming to deploy up to 12 wind turbines on floating hulls in the area to gather research on how the state can utilize the renewable form of energy.
Maine officials are moving forward with plans for an offshore wind farm they say will be “the nation’s first floating offshore wind research site in federal waters.”
Gov. Janet Mill’s office on Friday submitted an application with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to lease a 15 square mile area in the Gulf of Maine about 30 miles off the coast.
The state, in collaboration with the University of Maine, is aiming to deploy up to 12 wind turbines on floating hulls in the area to gather research on how the state can utilize the renewable form of energy, as well as wind farms impact on the coastal environment.
The body of water is ideal for offshore wind operations as it experiences some of the highest sustained wind speeds.
“Maine is uniquely prepared to create good-paying jobs across the state and reduce or crippling dependence on fossil fuels through the responsible development of offshore wind technology,” Mills said in a statement Friday.
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“This small-scale research site 30 miles off the coast will become home to innovative technology developed here in Maine. The research project will help establish the best way for our state to embrace the vast economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind,” she said.
Mills in July signed legislation prohibiting new offshore wind projects in state waters closer to shore in an effort to preserve the state’s recreation and commercial fishing in response to pushback from industry leaders.
Members of the fishing industry had voiced concerns wind projects in state territory could harm lobster harvesting, as up to 75 percent of the state’s commercial lobster harvesting occurs in state waters close to the coast.
“I believe that offshore wind and Maine’s fishing industry can not only coexist, but can help us build a stronger economy and a brighter, more sustainable future for Maine people,” Mills said.
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