November 17, 2010 - Boon Island offshore wind test site

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In recent entries, I've been looking at potential development of Maine's offshore wind energy resources.  For example, this week I've looked at the test wind site off Monhegan Island, to be developed by the DeepCWind Consortium.  Back in August, I sailed past Damariscove Island, another of the three offshore wind test sites approved by Maine.

[Photo: Damariscove Island, one of Maine's offshore wind energy test sites.]

Maine's third offshore wind test site will be the waters off Boon Island near York.  (Boon Island is also the site of the shipwreck of the British freighter Empire Knight, whose sunken remains may contain over 8 tons of mercury, and possibly $200 million in copper-platinum wire.)

Boon Island is about 6 miles offshore of York.  It's a notorious shipwreck site, and has been home to navigational aids for over 200 years.  The current incarnation, Boon Island Light, is the tallest lighthouse in both Maine and New England at 133 feet in height; people on shore, as well as those at sea, can see its white beacon flash every 5 seconds.  Boon Island Light and its predecessors have faced some powerful storms over the years, some of which have been damaging.

Back in December 2009, the waters off Boon Island were selected as an offshore wind energy test site. Unlike the Monhegan site, which will be developed by the DeepCWind consortium, the Boon Island offshore wind site is available for a commercial developer to build a test facility.  As Maine's development of its offshore energy potential progresses, who will apply for the site license for Boon Island?

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