US to create $20m offshore grant

US: The Department of Energy has allocated an additional $20 million for the development and testing of deepwater offshore wind technologies.

Cape Wind's meteological tower: one of the first instalments of the US offshore sector

Cathy Zoi, the department’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, announced the allocation in a letter to US senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Two weeks ago, energy secretary Steven Chu visited the University of Maine, which is developing offshore wind components and testing deepwater wind turbines.

The department did not say how much of the $20 million it would award to the university.

But Maine governor John Baldacci said: "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

Maine has already received more than $25million in federal grants for offshore energy, Baldacci said.

Voters in Maine approved a referendum in June authorizing the state to borrow $11million for the development of deepwater wind power demonstration sites.

The state has identified three demonstration sites for offshore wind in its waters.

It is one of ten states that have formed the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium in an effort to streamline the permitting process for offshore wind projects in federal waters.