The US Department of Energy (DOE) is requesting public input on the scope of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the 12MW New England Aqua Ventus I floating offshore wind demonstration project in the Gulf of Maine, being developed by the University of Maine.
The project, also known as Maine Aqua Ventus I, consists of two turbines installed on floating foundations approximately 2.5 miles south of Monhegan Island, Lincoln County, Maine and 12 miles off the mainland.
Additional project activities and/or potential impacts from the project would occur in or near Hampden, Searsport, Port Clyde, Monhegan Island and Peinaquid, Maine, DOE said.
In May 2016, DOE added the Aqua Ventus I to the list of projects eligible to receive up to USD 40 million in funding if certain milestones are met.
Under the proposed action, DOE would authorize the University of Maine to expend federal funding to support the development of the proposed project.
Development actions include design, construction, and commissioning of the proposed project; environmental monitoring; and up to five years of post-construction structural and performance monitoring data collection by the University of Maine.
DOE is currently preparing a draft EA to evaluate the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of the proposed project. The EA will describe and analyze potential impacts to the human environment that would be caused by the proposed project and, as applicable, will identify possible mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate those impacts.
DOE is conducting public informational meetings to provide details about the proposed project and the proposed scope of the EA; and to receive input from the public regarding the scope and issues to be considered in the EA.
The first public scoping meeting will have an open house format and will be held at the Fire Department Meeting Room at the Town of St. George Office, 3 School Street, Tenants Harbor, on 28 February from 2 pm to 4 pm local time.
The second meeting, a short presentation with an open house to follow, will take place in Monhegan Island School, 1 Monhegan Avenue, on 1 March 2017 from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm local time.
Written comments can be submitted to DOE no later than 22 March.