State Names Narrower Site for Offshore Wind Array

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This State Map Shows the Location off the Coast in Federal Waters That Will Require Approval. The Inclusion in Federal Waters is Apparently Intended to Pacify the Fishing Industry Who is Opposed to the Array.

The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) has picked a preferred site for the proposed floating offshore wind research array in the Gulf of Maine.

In November 2020, Governor Janet T. Mills announced the State’s intent to pursue a floating offshore wind research array in federal waters of the Gulf of Maine.  Federal approval will be required and that will take time.  The following month, the State conducted significant outreach and analysis to conform the location and research priorities of the research array in preparation for the State’s application to the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

To arrive at this preferred site, the GEO balanced a number of factors, such as impacts on fisheries and navigation, costs and more.  It is anticipated that the 16 sq. mile area in the Gulf of Maine will contain as many as 12 turbines.

The GEO invites comments on this preferred site through July 30 to inform its fiscal siting decision to be included in the Federal lease application for the research array.  The application is the first step in a subsequent multi-year permitting process by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which includes further impact studies and opportunities for public input.

According to an article today in MAINE BIZ some Maine fisherman aren’t buying this.  Some fishermen are concerned about the “potential impact on fisheries.”    Despite this effort to narrow the area for the research array, some members of the fishing industry remain opposed to the  project because “not all of the fishing data is in on fisheries such as lobster and ground fish.”

Earlier this month, Governor Mills prohibited wind research array from state waters where most of the fishing industry works.  Please visit July 7, 2021 post herein for more background information on the subject.

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