The Maine State Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee recently approved an historic omnibus offshore wind bill (LD 1895), sponsored by Sen. Mark Lawrence (D-York). It is expected to be voted on by the House and Senate when lawmakers return to wrap up their legislative session.
The bill contains consensus language that emerged from the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap, developed after a multi-year process by the Governor’s Energy Office and a wide variety of stakeholders, including organized labor, a key fisheries group, environmental organizations and legislators.
The comprehensive bill will responsibly develop offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine and encourage new deep-water port construction. It also will maintain high standards to ensure good-paying jobs for Maine workers, protections for wildlife, avoidance of important fishing grounds, broad stakeholder engagement and inclusive community benefits.
“I’m grateful to my fellow legislators for supporting this bill,” says Lawrence. “LD 1895 represents a detailed path to smart offshore wind development.”
Specifically, the bill will:
- Procure 3 GW of offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine by 2040.
- Incentivize responsibly developed wind projects that protect wildlife and avoid Lobster Management Area 1, Maine’s key fishing grounds.
- Set strong and comprehensive labor and workforce development standards for good-paying jobs and ensure inclusive benefits for Maine’s most vulnerable communities.
- Support the creation of a world-class, Maine-built offshore wind port that will bring in billions of dollars in economic development.
- Help meet Maine’s bipartisan emissions reduction targets and put the state on a path to meeting the proposed goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.
Jack Shapiro, of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, calls the legislation “yet another example of how Mainers come together to do what’s in the best interests of Maine’s environment and communities.”
“Responsibly developed offshore wind will strengthen our economy and make us more energy independent while protecting the shared resources in the Gulf of Maine,” he comments.