US State Begins Offshore Wind Procurement Process

Janet Mills, the Governor of the US State of Maine, announced on 24 April that the State has begun its process to procure up to 3 GW of offshore wind by 2040, with the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) releasing a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input to inform the State’s first commercial offshore wind solicitation for the Gulf of Maine.

Governor Mills made the announcement during a keynote address at the Oceantic Network’s International Partnering Forum (IPF) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The RFI seeks public input on Maine’s commercial offshore wind solicitation approach and implementation, regional coordination, fisheries protection and engagement, ports, workforce, transmission, environmental impacts, and other topics.

The deadline for responses is 21 June 2024.

”Offshore wind offers Maine the opportunity to generate clean, homegrown energy, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, to create good-paying jobs, and to protect our environment for future generations,” said Governor Janet Mills.

“Today, I am proud to announce that Maine is taking the first step in our offshore wind procurement process by releasing a Request for Information – a formal call for feedback from diverse stakeholders that will inform our procurement of offshore wind to reach 100 percent clean energy.”

Responses collected through this RFI will be used by GEO and other state agencies to evaluate solicitation designs and consider key program objectives, according to the press release.

There will be additional opportunities for public input throughout the ongoing solicitation design process, which is scheduled to be complete by July 2025.

In July 2023, Governor Mills signed legislation to advance offshore wind in Maine by procuring up to 3,000 MW of offshore wind energy installed in the Gulf of Maine by 2040.

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Earlier this year, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) designated the final Wind Energy Area (WEA) for the Gulf of Maine. That area excludes the entirety of Lobster Management Area 1, as requested by Governor Mills and Maine’s Congressional Delegation.

BOEM plans to host a commercial offshore wind lease auction by the end of 2024.

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In February, the State of Maine selected Sears Island as its preferred site for a port facility to support the floating offshore wind industry.

The site is expected to be about 100 acres in totality and would be a purpose-built facility for floating offshore wind fabrication, staging, assembly, maintenance, and deployment.


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