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State supports Maine floater

Bill to block 12MW Aqua Ventus demo defeated in committee

State supports Maine floater image

Maine legislators today voted unanimously against a bill that would have blocked the 12MW Aqua Ventus floating offshore wind demo.

The decision by the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee effectively kills the bill.

Republican senator Dana Dow proposed the law to protect the island’s scenic beauty and tourism culture.

Maine governor Paul LePage also supported the bill because the project requires above-market electricity prices.

The demo has a draft 20-year power purchase agreement with Maine utilities priced at $0.23/kWh.

The bill’s defeat allows a University of Maine-led group to continue developing the two-turbine project, which will be located in a test area in state waters about 5km off Monhegan Island and 20km from the mainland.

The development consortium includes Canadian utility Emera, European marine energy outfit DCNS and Cianbro, which will produce the concrete hulls in Maine.

The Aqua Ventus project was awarded $50m by the US Energy Department and must meet certain milestones to receive full funding.

The group is targeting a late 2019 commercial operation date.

Image: the VolturnUS prototype, part of groundwork for the Aqua Ventus demo (UMaine)

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