Maine Offshore Wind Project Moves to Top Tier of National Offshore Wind Demonstration Program

New England Aqua Ventus I, which had previously been selected as an alternate, now in contention for full $40 million award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that Maine’s New England Aqua Ventus I offshore wind pilot project, designed by a world-class University of Maine-led consortium, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in the Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration program.  Maine’s project now officially joins the demonstration program.

“Today’s decision by the Department of Energy puts Maine firmly on the map of America’s emerging offshore wind industry,” Senators Collins and King said in a joint statement. “With the project’s innovative and cutting edge floating design, the University of Maine has once again catapulted our state to the forefront of clean energy innovation through advanced technologies that could harness and deploy the vast wind resources off our nation’s coast.  This decision is outstanding news for Maine and a testament to the unmatched hard work and ingenuity of the University of Maine and the numerous Aqua Ventus partners. We applaud them for their efforts and will continue to support them as they strive to lead our state and nation into a brighter, cleaner energy future.”

In May 2014, the DOE announced that the New England Aqua Ventus project had been selected as an alternate for the Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Program and awarded $3 million for continued development. In November 2015, DOE informed Senators Collins and King that it would provide an additional $3.7 million to Aqua Ventus, a contract which will soon be finalized.  This brings total funding for Aqua Ventus on par with the previously selected second phase demonstration projects that were awarded $6.7 million.  Today’s announcement, means that Aqua Ventus will now be one of up to three leading projects that are each eligible for up to $39.9 million in additional funding over three years for the construction phase of the demonstration program.

For more information about the Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project Program, including the University of Maine’s proposal, click HERE.

Senator Collins is a member of the Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee and Senator King serves as a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.