Offshore Winds More Than Enough to Meet Maine’s Power Needs, Says Environment Maine Report

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Photo of Block Island Wind Farm – Courtesy of Deepwater Wind

Dr. Habib Dagher, Executive Director, Advances Structures and Composite Center, at USM, Orono, at a Meeting in Portland Last Year.

University of Maine Researchers are Developing New Floating Wind Turbine Technology. A Prototype used for Testing off the Coast of Maine.

Offshore wind power could be the power source for Maine’s clean energy future.  Winds blowing off the Maine coast could provide 35.9 times that amount of electricity each year than the state currently uses, according to a report released last week by Environment Maine.

“We’re facing rising seas, intensifying storms and old and new health threats because we’ve relied so long on dirty energy sources,” said Jacqueline Guyol, Campaign Organizer, of Environment Maine.  “But sitting right here next to us is the Atlantic coast and its massive source of totally clean power.  Let’s just say ‘thank you,’ Mother Nature and do what we should have done in the first place – harness the wind.”

While offshore wind is a proven technology overseas, it has been slow to take off here in the United States.  To date, only one wind farm is operating in the United States, off the coast of Rhode Island.  Meanwhile, Europe hosts 4,100 offshore wind turbines that supply enough electricity to power more than 20 million homes each day.  But more American offshore wind is on the horizon.  There are now 13 leased offshore wind projects moving forward in the United States, which could provide enough electricity to power approximately 5.2 million homes.

“Offshore wind presents a tremendous opportunity for Maine to grow its economy and decrease its dependence on polluting sources of energy,” said Sean Mahoney, Executive Vice-President of the Conservation Law Foundation.  “Unfortunately, the LePage administration has done everything it could to hamstring seizing that opportunity, including driving away one of the world’s leading energy companies who was willing to make a multi-million dollar investment in Maine waters.  Fortunately the end is nigh for that administration and with the proper leadership, Maine can still take advantage of the enormous potential identified in this report.  Proper siting of offshore wind power projects to respect existing uses will be critical to their success.”

The fascinating report written by Gideon Weissman & Rachel J. Cross, of Frontier Group, may be read on-line at Environment Maine’s web page.

1 thought on “Offshore Winds More Than Enough to Meet Maine’s Power Needs, Says Environment Maine Report

  1. With the lowest priced electricity available from Hydro Quebec just waiting for a new energy corridor, over 55 MW of untapped hydro power and much more in reliable tidal power using existing bridge abutments; seeking public subsidies for offshore wind is taxpayer folly. Even laminar flow turbines on Munjoy hill buildings would be less expensive and with no disruption of the marine habitat or cruise ship traffic.

    The authors have little knowledge or sensitivity to the options for delivering affordable electricity to Munjoy Hill residents.

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