Gulf of Maine Floating Offshore Wind Research Array

The Governor’s Energy Office made public its preferred site for the research array and is seeking public input on it through the end of this month. 

The State of Maine is pursuing federal approval for the Gulf of Maine Floating Offshore Wind Research Array, a 16-square-mile area in federal waters off the Gulf of Maine. The array will feature up to 12 turbines on innovative floating platform technology developed by the University of Maine, and the prudent next step in Maine’s advancement of floating offshore wind.
The Governor’s Energy Office has proposed a 16-acre preferred site for the research array, which would be located within a 56-acre “Narrowed Area of Interest.” After input from stakeholders and the public, if the preferred site that is ultimately selected is within the portion of the Narrowed Area of Interest closest to Monhegan, the site would be more than 23 miles from the island, according to the state. Alternatively, if the preferred site were shifted to the southwest, the distance would be a few miles longer.
Is the UMaine project off of Monhegan part of this research array?The Monhegan project is a separate and independent project on a different timeline from this proposed research array. It is a private project by New England Aqua Ventus (NEAV) working with the University of Maine (UMaine) and partially funded by the United States Department of Energy. The project involves a single floating platform. While it is in a state-designated test site, the state has no direct involvement in the Monhegan project other than in its regulatory function addressing compliance and permitting.The Monhegan project must undergo completely different regulatory reviews at the local, State and federal levels. This NEAV/UMaine collaboration is poised to deploy the first floating offshore wind turbine in the U.S in 2024.The research array is a State-led initiative with very different regulatory process and timeline. Additionally, the turbines would be deployed in federal waters, and 20-or-more miles from Maine land. While the State plans to utilize the skills and experience of NEAV to help develop the Array project if approved, the research array is a completely different initiative needed to research how multiple floating turbines can best interact and co-exist in the federal waters of the Gulf of Maine, where there is a nationally significant, and currently untapped, wind resource.
The state recently launched a new website with information about the offshore wind roadmap process and other aspects of offshore wind in Maine: You can sign-up for email updates and see upcoming meetings about offshore wind on this website.