Offshore wind energy is critical to meet our nation’s climate goals, particularly in New England where its technical energy resource potential is greater than all other clean energy resources combined. Adding even a modest amount of offshore wind to the New England grid could drive down wholesale energy costs, especially during cold snaps and storms when ratepayers often see a sharp spike in energy prices. The levelized cost of offshore wind energy has declined more than 50% since 2014 for fixed bottom technologies with similar declines for with floating offshore wind expected by 2030.
Maine has been a leader in floating offshore wind, working to advance this technology for a decade with the University of Maine’s Aqua Ventus demonstration project. These efforts were bolstered by Governor Janet Mills in 2019 in establishing the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative with the goal of creating a Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap to advance research and explore pathways towards commercial development. The Initiative has completed several studies and facilitated interagency collaboration and stakeholder engagement creating a strong foundation for developing a floating offshore wind industry in Maine.
This RFI represents a significant and necessary step towards fully securing that foundation and tapping into the world class wind energy resource offshore Maine in a way that uplifts communities, creates quality union jobs, equitably distributes community benefits, protects wildlife and marine habitat, and ensures coexistence with marine industries.
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