Governor Janet Mills signed into law Legislative Document 994, directing the PUC to approve the contract between the Central Maine Power Company and the developer of the Aqua Ventus project.
Aqua Ventus’ two turbines would be installed on concrete, four-column, semi-submersible foundations designed by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Centre.
It is supported by $39.9 million in grants from US Department of Energy, and would be the state’s first offshore wind farm.
A 1:8 scale model of the Aqua Ventus project was successfully tested off the coast of Maine in 2013.
Maine will also form part of a federal-led intergovernmental task force on offshore wind off the coast of New England, governor Mills confirmed.
She accepted an invitation from the US government’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to sit on its Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Regional Task Force, along with New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
The task force will seek to identify potential opportunities for renewable energy leasing and development on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine.
It will include federal and state agencies, as well as tribal representatives.
In a third offshore wind development for Maine, a state task force will be set up to explore opportunities created by offshore wind, governor Mills announced.
The Maine Offshore Wind Initiative will examine opportunities for job creation, supply chain and port development, and offshore wind’s impact on Maine’s future energy supply.
It will also explore how offshore wind siting might impact others who use the Gulf of Maine, including commercial fishing and other maritime industries.
The group will be led by state agencies and include local officials, and representatives of tribal, commercial fishing, marine, and labour interests, businesses, academics, scientists and energy and environmental organisations.
It will inform the state’s participation on the BOEM task force, governor Mills explained.