There are significant wind resources off the coast of Maine and responsibly sited offshore wind represents a significant opportunity for Maine’s energy future and economy. The Governor’s Energy Office will lead participation in offshore wind planning efforts to ensure thoughtful engagement around offshore wind energy development. If you are interested in receiving updates on these efforts, from the Governor’s Energy Office and other Departments, please sign up at the link below to join the interested parties list.
U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force
BOEM has invited Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts to participate in a Gulf of Maine Task Force to identify potential opportunities for renewable energy leasing and development on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Maine; federal jurisdiction begins three miles beyond the coast. The Task Force meetings are open to the public and stakeholders are encouraged to participate, either in-person or through written comments throughout the process. There will also be opportunities to participate at the State level with the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative, described below.
- BOEM Gulf of Maine Task Force Webpage: https://www.boem.gov/Gulf-of-Maine/
- BOEM’s Citizen’s Guide provides information about this process. Additional information, including BOEM’s stakeholder sign up, will be posted on the BOEM website (updates coming soon).
- Letter from BOEM inviting the State of Maine to participate in the Gulf of Maine Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force
- Governor Mills’ letter of acceptance
- BOEM Gulf of Maine Task Force – Initial Maine Roster (as of December 2019)
Maine Offshore Wind Initiative (MOWI)
In June 2019, Governor Mills directed the creation of a state-based initiative to identify opportunities for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine, and determine how Maine can best position itself to benefit from future offshore wind projects, including opportunities for job creation, supply chain and port development, and offshore wind’s impact on Maine’s energy future.
The Initiative will be charged with promoting compatibility between potential future uses and existing uses in the Gulf of Maine to inform offshore wind siting considerations and minimize any impact on Maine’s commercial fishing and maritime industries. This initiative will solicit the participation of interested stakeholders and the public – including, but not limited to commercial fishing, working waterfront representatives, and coastal communities. The Initiative will provide opportunities for valuable input and inform the State’s participation in the BOEM Task Force (described above). If you are interested in participating in this effort, please sign up for the interested parties list, link above. This effort will begin soon.
Maine Aqua Ventus
Maine Aqua Ventus is the first of its kind floating offshore pilot project that utilizes floating semisubmersible concrete hulls called the VolturnUS designed by the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine. In June 2019, Governor Mills signed into law LD 994 that required the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus. On November 5, 2019 the PUC approved the contract for the Maine Aqua Ventus pilot project.
More information on Maine Aqua Ventus can be found here: http://maineaquaventus.com/