Maine Floating Wind Project Makes Headway

VolturnUS 1:8 prototype. Source: UMaine

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has voted to review Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC’s terms for the two-turbine research and development floating wind project off of Monhegan Island, Maine.

During the deliberation, the Maine PUC identified additional questions they would like answered before they move forward with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) decision, the University of Maine (UMaine), the leading developer behind the 12MW floating wind project, said.

‘UMaine is extremely committed to this project, and we are confident that we can answer the PUC’s questions to establish a PPA that allows the project to move forward as soon as possible. The PUC will issue an order in the next several weeks that includes specific requests for additional information,” UMaine said.

In January 2018, the Maine PUC delayed its decision on a power purchase contract between Maine Aqua Ventus and Central Maine Power Company to allow more time for public comment on the agreement.

The Maine Aqua Ventus project, also known as New England Aqua Ventus I, will deploy two 6MW turbines on VolturnUS, the floating concrete semi-submersible hull designed by UMaine, south of Monhegan Island. Once installed in 2020, the turbines are expected to produce energy for the duration of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The objective of the pilot is to demonstrate the technology at full scale, allowing floating farms to be built out-of-sight across the US and the world in the 2020s.

”It’s clear that the US offshore wind industry is very real, but fixed foundation turbines are limited to shallow water depth. Most of Maine’s offshore wind resource, and nearly 60% of the U.S. offshore wind resource is located in deepwater where only floating turbines can be used. It’s clear that floating offshore wind is the next frontier, and Maine’s floating turbine technology can still put our state in the driver’s seat,” UMaine said.

Apart from UMaine, the Maine Aqua Ventus consortium includes Cianbro Corporation and DCNS.

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