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Maine Governor’s Energy Office publishes Offshore Wind Roadmap

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 24/02/2023 Office of Governor Janet T.Mills
The State of Maine Governor’s Energy Office has released a Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap. The plan outlines strategies for Maine to realise economic, energy, and climate benefits from offshore wind, in conjunction with communities, fisheries, and wildlife of the Gulf of Maine.

The Roadmap was developed over 18 months in a public process led by a 24-person advisory committee with members from State agencies and energy, economic, fisheries, wildlife, science, and environmental leaders in Maine. The advisory committee was supported by four working groups on energy, economy, fisheries, and wildlife. Together, nearly 80 public sessions were held to develop the Roadmap.

Objectives of the Roadmap are organised around five key topics – supporting economic growth and resiliency, harnessing renewable energy, advancing Maine-based innovation, supporting Maine’s seafood industry, and protecting the Gulf of Maine’s ecosystem.

According to the roadmap, Maine has 80 companies engaging in the U.S.’s offshore wind industry, which is expected to generate $109 billion in private investment by 2030. Workforce opportunities in offshore wind cover nearly 120 occupations in Maine, such as engineering, electricians, metalworkers, marine operations, surveying, boat building and maintenance, and research and development.

Over the long-term, the Roadmap foresees offshore wind reducing Maine and New England’s reliance on imported natural gas to generate electricity and meet an increasing demand for clean energy to curb carbon emissions and fight climate change. Furthermore, UMaine’s floating offshore wind research offers Maine an opportunity for leadership in this industry.

The Roadmap further outlines that offshore wind must advance responsibly in Maine to preserve the state’s marine economy, especially fishing, and protect the ecosystem of the Gulf of Maine and the individuals, communities and wildlife that depend on it.

The Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap, which was supported by a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Agency, is part of the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative, a multi-faceted approach to responsible offshore wind in Maine launched by Governor Janet Mills in 2019 and overseen by the Governor’s Energy Office.

The release of the Roadmap comes after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) last month advanced an application by the State of Maine to lease a proposed site in Federal waters in the Gulf of Maine for a Floating Offshore Wind Research Array.

The array is proposed to include 10-12 turbines on semi-submersible floating concrete platforms known as VolturnUS, designed by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composite Center. The final size and location of the research site will be determined by BOEM during its leasing review process, which will continue this year.

In January, BOEM released its draft area for potential commercial offshore wind leasing in the Gulf of Maine and held a series of public meetings across New England on its planning process leading up to its proposed sale of commercial offshore wind leases in the Gulf of Maine in 2024.


For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.

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