Governor Mills Announces Sears Island as Preferred Port to Support Floating Offshore Wind


Illustration Provided Courtesy of the Governor’s Office.

Illusration Provided Courtesy of the Governor;s Office.

Governor Janet T. Mills (D), the first woman governor of Maine, today announced that the State of Maine has selected a section of state-owned Sears Island that is reserved for port development as its preferred site for a port facility to support the floating offshore wind industry.

The selection of the site follows an extensive public stakeholders process led by the Maine Department of Transporation and Maine Port Authority to consider the State’s primary port development options, including multiple potential sites in the Port of Searsport, Port of Eastport and Port of Portland.

The State concluded that the Sears Island parcel is the most feasible port development site in terms of location, logistics, cost, and environnmental impact based on input from port and offshore and stockholders, incuding the Universsity of Maine on technical and engineering analyses.

Sears Island is a 941-acre Island off the coast of Searsport.  In 2009, Sears Island was, by agreemet, divided into two parcels; approximately 601 acres or two-thirds of the Island, was placed in a permanent conservation easement held by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, while the remaining one-third or approximately 330 acres was reserved by the MaineDOT for future development.

The site selected by the State today is expected to be about 100 acres in totality, which is about one-third of the State-owned parcel or a litle more than one-third of the entire Island.

The proposed port would be a purpose built facility for floating offshore wind fabrication, staging, assembly, maintenance and deployment.  With deep water access to the port development site, Maine has the potential to establish a premier location for the industry and help meet growing demand in the US for offshore wind port infrastcuture.

“This was not an easy decision, nor is it one that I made lightly.  For ore than two years, my Administration has evaluated Sears Island and Maack Point thoroughly and with an open mind, recognizing that each site has is own set of benefis and its own set of drawbacks.  In carefully considering all of these, I believe that on balance, Sears Island is the best chance for an offshore wind port because it is alreadyowned by the state, designated for the purpose of port development, will cost less in the short-term and long-term and is expected to result in less environmental harm,” said Governor Mills.