AUGUSTA — Members of the Governor’s Energy Office updated the Legislature’s Marine Resources Committee on its offshore wind project.
They say this technology is giving Maine an opportunity to get clean energy and improve its economy, but what exactly is it?
“They are turbines, which are set in the water, and then typically, they’ve been connected to the ground,” said Dan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Energy Office.
Because of its deep waters, Burgess said floating technology is going to be important in the Gulf of Maine.
“The University of Maine has developed a technology which can be made right here in the state and can be deployed using local content and creating local jobs,” Burgess said.
Burgess said the cost of offshore wind technology is decreasing.
“It’s actually projected longer-term that floating will be cheaper than the fixed-bottom because they don’t require as much expensive equipment to install and to operate,” Burgess said.
According to Burgess, Gov. Janet Mills launched the Maine offshore wind initiative as the foundation for Maine’s clean energy going forward.
“We were fortunate enough to receive a federal grant last fall to develop a 10-year offshore wind roadmap,” Burgess said.
Governor’s Energy Office Deputy Director Celina Cunningham said they are looking to coexist with Maine’s fishing industry.
“We recognize that we really want to engage with lobster, with fishing industry leaders and individual fishermen to help understand questions, concerns and help gather information that we don’t have in terms of better and worse places to site this project,” Cunningham said.
They said they are continuing to work with stakeholders to find a site for the project.