United States

United States

Maine bans offshore wind development in state waters

In sharp contrast to other US east coast states, Maine’s governor has signed a bill preserving state waters for recreation and fishing

A 20kW floating offshore wind turbine was trialled off Maine in 2013 (pic credit: University of Maine)
A 20kW floating offshore wind turbine was trialled off Maine in 2013 (pic credit: University of Maine)

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Maine’s governor has signed into law a bill banning the development of offshore wind farms in state waters.

Offshore wind development can still take place in federal waters in the Gulf of Maine, where the state is due to create a research area for floating offshore wind – the US’s first.

The law banning offshore wind development in state waters attracted strong bipartisan support from Maine’s legislature.

It also preserves Maine’s state waters for recreation and fishing. Up to 75% of Maine’s commercial lobster harvesting takes place in state waters, according to Governor Janet Mills’ office.

Maine’s ban on offshore wind in state waters contrasts sharply with other east coast states’ support for the sector. Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey have all awarded support in auctions, while Virginia and North Carolina have both set capacity targets for development.

The state is, however, home to an operational pilot project – 0.02MW DeepCwind Consortium Research Program DeepCwind Consortium Research Program (0.02MW) OffshoreCastine, Maine, USA, North America Click to see full details – and a further demonstration project – 12MW New England Aqua Ventus I New England Aqua Ventus I (12MW) Offshoreoff Monhegan, Maine, USA, North America Click to see full details – is under development.

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