Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said today that the University of Maine has won a highly competitive grant to develop offshore floating wind turbines along the Maine coast.
"This is a major grant and puts Maine at the center of the development of the offshore wind industry," Pingree said. "The University of Maine has used advanced materials to create a technology that allows the turbines to be bigger and last longer in the harsh marine environment, and that is going to translate into lower energy costs."
Pingree said 70 organizations applied for grants from the Advanced Technology Demonstration Program grant program. The University of Maine was one of only 7 to be selected.
Two 6-megawatt floating turbines will be deployed off the Maine coast beginning in 2015. Floating wind turbines can be placed further offshore, so they aren't visible from land. Just one of the turbines proposed in this project would produce as much electricity as four typical land-based turbines.
"These turbines will be a sight to see," she said. "With a 500' blade span they will be taller than the Washington Monument. It's an incredible tribute to the expertise and the ingenuity of the University of Maine and their partners."