Maine getting $2 million offshore wind support

U.S. Department of Commerce is awarding a $2.166 million grant to support the development of the offshore wind industry in Maine.

The grant, awarded by the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), will be used to develop a roadmap for establishing an offshore wind industry in this U.S. state.

This will be matched with $267,624 in state funds and $112,457 in local funds.

According to EDA, the roadmap will be created by examining manufacturing processes, supply chains, port facilities, transportation systems, shipbuilding opportunities, ecosystem relationships, workforce development plans, power interconnections, exports, and economic impacts.

“Mainers currently pay some of the highest electric rates in the country and our offshore wind resource potential is 36 times greater than the State’s electricity demand,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01).

“This support for offshore wind power will not only lower electricity rates, it will provide a home-grown solution to our energy needs while providing a boost to our economy. This grant will also enable the Governor’s Energy Office to continue thoughtful engagement with existing ocean users, including commercial fishermen, as we work toward a clean energy future.”

In June 2019, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law legislation requiring the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve the power purchase contract for Maine Aqua Ventus, the first floating offshore wind project in the country, after delaying the decision on the agreement in 2018 to allow more time for public comment.

The 20-year power purchase agreement was signed at the end of last year.

The project will deploy two 6 MW turbines on VolturnUS, the floating concrete semi-submersible hull designed by the University of Maine (UMaine).

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