Department of Energy recently gave the state of Maine $20
million for the advancement
of deepwater offshore wind energy development, including
efforts made by the University of
Maine to make components for and test the wind turbines for
is where the future lies," said Maine Governor John Baldacci.
"We want to become an energy generating center."
funds were given by the Obama Administration two weeks after U.S.
Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu visited the University of
Structures and Composites Center on June 14. Chu was invited
to the campus by Senator Susan Collins, and was able to explore the
university's latest developments with wind energy production.
far as New England goes, Maine remains the leader in the land-based
wind energy industry and plans to become the the main energy
exporter to the entire region in 20 years with the help of this
deepwater offshore wind energy project.
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 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 energy development."
group of private and government agencies have selected three sites to
use for demonstration purposes of the offshore wind turbines. One
will be located in southern Maine near Boon
Island, another will be placed south of Boothbay
Harbor near Damariscove
Island, and the final wind turbine will be located south
Island off Port
to state regulations, two wind turbines can be placed at the first
two sites for five years, and the Monhegan Island site can hold three
turbines for seven years. The turbines will be anchored in 300 feet
of water up to three miles from each island.
addition, the first two sites will be privately owned for the
demonstration purposes while the Monhegan Island location will be
used by 28
different companies led by Habib Dagher, who is the director
of University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center.
ultimate goal is to achieve the installation of 5 gigwatts by 2030,
which is twice the state's energy consumption at present. According
to Dagher, Maine has a wind energy potential of 149 gigawatts within
50 miles of the state's coast.
are grateful for this significant level of support," said
Baldacci. "The federal
important partner in our efforts to grow green jobs and
advance the promise of offshore wind technology."
addition to this newly acquired $20 million, Dagher's team at the
University of Maine received $8 million earlier this year from the
U.S. Department of Energy to build a research center specifically for
deepwater offshore wind energy development.
first turbines are set to be on site in 2011. At this time, the three
demonstration sites will measure the potential to produce power by
ocean wave energy as well.