In March 2020, Governor Janet Mills identified the Port of Searsport as a leading site in Maine to support the transportation, assembly and fabrication of offshore wind turbines and called for a study to further analyze this opportunity.
The study was completed on November, 17, 2021 and is available here: Maine Department of Transportation: Offshore Wind Port Infrastructure Feasibility Study (PDF).
That study, prepared by Moffat and Nichol, evaluated the port’s assets and future needs to support offshore wind, which require assets that exceed most typically available port infrastructure due to their substantial size.
This evaluation is a milestone for the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative, which aims to identify development opportunities for offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine, which has the most natural wind resources of any area off the East Coast.
Port needs specific to floating offshore wind turbines – which are most likely to be used in the Gulf of Maine due to its significant water depths – are included in the study. This aspect would allow Searsport to support New England AquaVentus, a partnership led by the University of Maine with Diamond Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corp., and RWE Renewables, to build a full-scale floating offshore wind technology demonstration project off the Maine coast.The Maine Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Energy Office, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, Mack Point terminal owner Sprague Operating Resources LLC, the Maine Port Authority, and the Town of Searsport coordinated on the evaluation.
Maine’s second largest seaport, Searsport has served shipping and cargo needs since the 1700s. The Mack Point terminal is currently able to handle a diverse array of products including bulk piling, laydown, warehousing, liquid tank storage, and project cargo. A Searsport Intermodal Commodity Study (PDF) was completed in 2017 that will serve as a foundation for this report.
For more information on the study, please contact Celina Cunningham at Celina.Cunningham@maine.gov.