In June, Governor Mills signed bill requiring PUC to approve key contract allowing innovative project to move forward
Governor Janet Mills issued the following statement today applauding the Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) approval of a contract for Maine Aqua Ventus, a first-of-its-kind floating offshore wind pilot project spearheaded by the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine.
“The PUC’s approval of this contract is a major milestone for our state’s clean energy future. Thanks to the innovative work of the University of Maine, Aqua Ventus is poised to become the first offshore wind project in the country to feature a floating platform, an advancement that cements our state’s leadership in offshore wind development and that puts Maine on the map for clean energy technology. With this key and long-overdue approval, this cutting-edge demonstration project is now on track to move forward and allow us to harness our own clean, renewable source of energy, create jobs, and strengthen our economy.”
In June 2019, Governor Mills signed into law LD 994, a resolve sponsored by Republican Senator David Woodsome directing the PUC to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus. The University of Maine has estimated that Maine Aqua Ventus will produce nearly $152 million in total economic output, and more than 1,150 Maine-based jobs, including jobs for design and construction. Operations and maintenance of the facility will create an additional economic output of approximately $30 million over 20 years.
Maine utility regulators approve tests for floating wind turbine project off Maine coast
By Nora Flaherty
Maine's Public Utilities Commission has approved a project that will test a floating platform that will hold up to two wind turbines, near Monhegan Island.
Earlier this year, Maine's Legislature passed a law requiring the PUC to approve the University of Maine's Aqua Ventus project - and the University of Maine recently got a grant of about $5 million to help develop the platforms.
PUC Chair Phillip Bartlett says the Aqua Ventus project could add to Maine's economy by bringing more research and development dollars into Maine. "And also if this takes off, there's a real opportunity for economic development, both in the production and then the rollout of offshore wind turbines in the year ahead."
Bartlett says this turbine could make offshore wind practical in places where you can't put the foundation for a windmill on the ocean floor.
"So I think it really expands the ability to have offshore wind in more places like the coast of Maine," Bartlett says, "and can really generate a ton of electricity at times when we need it here in Maine and around the region."
In a statement, Maine Gov. Janet Mills called the PUC's approval of the project "a major milestone" in the state's effort to reduce carbon emissions.
"With this key and long-overdue approval, this cutting-edge demonstration project is now on track to move forward and allow us to harness our own clean, renewable source of energy, create jobs, and strengthen our economy," Mills said.
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