UMaine’s Offshore Wind Project Comes in Fourth

The University of Maine’s offshore wind project known as New England Aqua Ventus was selected fourth after the U.S. Department of Energy announced the selection of three finalists for the next phase of its Advanced Technology Demonstration Program.

Three of the six projects, all of which are at 50 percent completion, were awarded full grants to move to the next stage, which includes the completion to 100 percent design and engineering.

The DOE noted that Maine’s VolturnUS technology, which currently is successfully in use on a pilot scale near Castine, was highly favorable and innovative, and “with additional engineering and design, will further enhance the properties of American offshore wind technology options.” The DOE has indicated it will continue to work with UMaine to advance the design to deployment readiness.

UMaine’s New England Aqua Ventus project will remain an alternate for the DOE Advanced Technology Demonstration Program, should additional federal funding become available.

In the coming year, UMaine will use the DOE funding to complete the R&D and to consider the path forward, according to Jake Ward, University of Maine Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development.

“The University of Maine remains enthusiastic about the opportunities from the VolturnUS technology to tap into the largest sources of renewable energy in Maine,” Ward says. ”The winds in the Gulf of Maine are still there. The need for economical, environmentally sustainable renewable energy that can create local and U.S. jobs is still an important goal for Maine and the United States. The extensive work that the UMaine lead team has completed is very important to meeting these goals.”

Press Release, May 08, 2014; Image:  Maine Aqua Ventus

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