Long-running efforts to secure a power contract for the first floating wind farm in the United States suffered a setback Tuesday when the Public Utilities Commission decided to delay its approval.
Without a long-term power contract, the experimental project off Maine’s coast near Monhegan Island is in danger of losing future federal funding, making it extremely difficult to finance the project.
The move took place as the three-member panel was meeting to vote on approving a long-term contract for electricity between Maine Aqua Ventus and Central Maine Power Co. It had approved initial terms of the deal in 2013.
But on Tuesday, the panel voted unanimously to seek a new round of public comments before making a final decision on the project. A small-scale prototype of the wind farm was tested off Castine, but construction of a full-scale model has not yet begun.