November 15, 2010 - Monhegan energy: wind?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Maine has designated the waters offshore of Monhegan Island as a test site for offshore wind energy development.

[Photo: down by the dock, Monhegan Island, Maine.]

The DeepCWind Consortium is planning to develop a one-third scale test platform and turbine about two miles south of Monhegan Island.  Exactly what type of platform will be tested is still up in the air, but choices under consideration include single spar, tension leg, and buoyancy stabilized designs.

Who is DeepCWind?  It's a consortium composed of a mix of private businesses and academics.  DeepCWind has been successful at grant writing and fundraising; for example, the US Department of Energy has awarded the consortium an $8 million grant to support its research.

The Monhegan site was announced by Governor Baldacci last December as one of three offshore wind test sites.  The Monhegan energy site will be developed by DeepCWind, while two other sites - one near York, Maine's Boon Island, and one off Damariscove Island near Boothbay - will be developed by private companies.  Each site measures between 1 and 2 square miles, and all fall within in Maine’s territorial waters.  The upshot of this is that Maine, not the federal government, will have authority to regulate siting issues.

If DeepCWind succeeds, within two years, we'll see an offshore wind energy test site in the waters south of Monhegan.

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