Monhegan ocean energy

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The waters around the Maine island of Monhegan are a powerful force.  Located about 12 nautical miles offshore, Monhegan sports both a vibrant year-round community and significant seasonal tourism industry.  The island’s ocean resources – including fish, lobster, wildlife and scenic location – form the basis for much of its economy.
Nearing the dock, Monhegan.

Monhegan’s waters may also be home to ocean energy resources.  In 2009, the Maine Ocean Energy Task Force selected a site off Monhegan as an offshore wind test site.  At the site about 2 miles south of the island, the University of Maine-led DeepCWind Consortium plans to develop a scale-model floating platform and test turbine.  The Monhegan wind project may be built and installed in 2012.

Monhegan is lashed by powerful waves as well, as evidenced by stories of hurricane-spawned waves sweeping people away from the island.    Waves can contain significant amounts of energy; under the right circumstances, some of that wave energy can be harnessed to produce usable power.  Although there are no formal proposals to develop wave energy projects off Monhegan, the rocky eastern shore demonstrates the power of the ocean.

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