The University of Maine's (UMaine) Advanced Structures and Composites Center has introduced VolturnUS, a floating offshore wind turbine prototype to be deployed off the coast of Maine.
The approximately 65-foot-tall turbine prototype is a 1:8 scale of a 6 MW, 423-foot-rotor diameter design, and UMaine says the program goal is to reduce the cost of offshore wind to compete with other forms of electricity generation with no subsidies.
The UMaine Composites Center has partnered with industry stakeholders to invest in a 12 MW, $96 million pilot farm. The university says the deployments this summer will de-risk UMaine's VolturnUS technology in preparation for connecting the first full-scale unit to the grid in 2016.
The VolturnUS technology is the culmination of more than five years of collaborative research and development conducted by the UMaine-led DeepCwind Consortium, a public-private partnership funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation-Partners for Innovation, the Maine Technology Institute, the State of Maine and more than 30 industry partners.