A Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on energy and water has initially approved a $10 million appropriation to support the University of Maine's (UMaine) deepwater offshore wind energy research and development, according to the DeepCwind Consortium.
Senate Appropriations Committee member Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, requested the funding.
Collins has helped secure $25 million in federal funding as UMaine works toward developing and testing this technology. Plans call for the first, one-third-scale floating wind turbine to be deployed off of Maine for testing in 2012. The additional funding will be used to build, deploy and test a full-scale prototype of a 5 MW floating wind turbine, using companies and labor from within the state.
Maine's Ocean Energy Task Force has set a goal of developing 5,000 MW of deepwater offshore wind farms by 2030 – equivalent to the energy production of three nuclear power plants.
This development represents less than 3% of the 150,000 MW of offshore wind capacity that exists within 50 nautical miles of Maine's coast, according to the DeepCwind Consortium.
These farms would be placed approximately 20 miles to 50 miles offshore, where they would not be visible from land. Such an effort could attract as much as $20 billion of private capital to Maine, according to the DeepCwind Consortium.
SOURCE: DeepCwind Consortium