By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,475)
Maine Aqua Ventus will be receiving $3.7 million in federal funds to further develop a floating offshore wind platform it has designed according to a joint press release from US Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin. “This is a big boost to the state’s clean energy industry,” said Pingree.
The Maine Aqua Ventus project, a public/private consortium led by the University of Maine, had been considered an alternate to three other projects around the country. But after those projects failed to win a power purchase agreement – a contract to sell the electricity they would produce – Pingree and Poliquin asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to promote the Maine project. In addition to the $3.7 million grant announced today, DOE gave the other three projects an extension until early summer to further develop their projects. At the end of May, federal officials will reassess all the projects, including Aqua Ventus – to determine who will get additional funding – $47 million that is!
“The Maine consortium has done what competing projects around the country have not been able to do – deliver on performance while staying on cost and on schedule. This project is a great example of Maine ingenuity and hard work and deserves a significant federal investment,” Pingree wrote. “Maine has the wind resource and the people to develop an offshore wind industry and this is a step in that direction.”
In May 2016, three finalists stand to receive $47 million each to actually build their offshore wind projects – again Maine Aqua Ventus IS in the running, contrary to some other news reports