Energy Department Commits New Funding for Offshore Wind Power in Maine

The University of Maine’s efforts already under way to develop components and test deepwater offshore wind turbines for wind energy production could receive support from these funds.

“I am pleased that the federal government has affirmed its support for deepwater offshore wind energy potential in general, and the vital work being conducted by the University of Maine specifically,” said Governor Baldacci.

“Maine is well-positioned to compete for these federal resources because of the leadership we have built over the course of the past two years on deepwater offshore wind power development. We have worked hard to grow a partnership between the State, Maine’s Congressional Delegation, private industry and the University of Maine to further development of offshore wind energy.”

The commitment of funds from the Obama Administration comes less than two weeks after Energy Secretary Chu’s visit to the University of Maine.

On June 14, at the invitation of Senator Susan Collins, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. The federal agency has provided key funding to the Center and partners to aid Maine’s efforts to aggressively pursue wind power development and green jobs.

The Governor thanked Maine’s Congressional Delegation, which has helped the State obtain more than $25 million dollars in grants to help develop offshore wind farm energy.

“We are grateful for this significant level of support,” said the Governor. “The federal government is an important partner in our efforts to grow green jobs and advance the promise of offshore wind technology.”

Maine is a recognized leader in the development of clean, renewable and home-grown energy. The State has set ambitious goals to develop clean energy and has worked to build the technological and workforce strengths that have put Maine on this path.

Maine has established a bold vision of reducing the State’s consumption of liquid fossil fuels by at least 30 percent by 2030.

Earlier this month Maine joined with nine other states and the U.S. Department of Interior to establish The Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium to work to streamline the review and siting process for offshore wind projects in federal waters. Maine has already identified three demonstration sites for offshore wind technology located in Maine coastal waters. The University of Maine will be using a site off Monhegan Island for its testing.

The people of Maine supported a critical bond question in June to support energy priorities, including $11 million to support the development of the deepwater wind energy demonstration site spearheaded by University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center.