Sens. Collins, King Announce Major Investment in Maine’s Leadership in Clean Energy

Source: By Targeted News Service • Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2020

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Angus King (I-Maine) announced that the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $2,166,719 to the Governor’s Energy Office, to further advance a comprehensive economic roadmap for establishing Maine as a leader in the offshore wind power industry. This investment will build on Maine’s national leadership on floating offshore wind and substantial work and research in the state and the Gulf of Maine.

“For generations, Maine has been one of the nation’s energy leaders, and this project will bring in new opportunities to grow our state’s clean energy economy,” said Senator Collins and King in a joint statement. “Thanks to our state’s extensive coastline, coastal communities, and the work of brilliant innovators in our state, a Maine offshore wind industry has the potential to become a leading energy provider for our region. This strategic roadmap funding will open the door to a powerful new source of clean energy and help us create good-paying jobs.

“Maine is committed to the development of clean energy, the fight against climate change, and the pursuit of innovation to broaden and strengthen economic opportunities for our people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This important award will give Maine a roadmap for growing our clean energy economy in collaboration with our heritage industries, especially fishing, in order to support our state’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and sound the call that Maine intends to be a global competitor, innovator and leader in floating offshore wind.”

The strategic roadmap will work in partnership with other state agencies and stakeholders across all sectors – including the University of Maine – to develop a comprehensive offshore wind roadmap to create quality jobs and grow talent in the state, with a focus on floating technology. Based off of industry-led initiatives including the Forest Opportunity Roadmap (FOR/Maine) and the Marine Economy Initiative (SEAMaine), which Senators Collins and King have thoroughly expressed their support for, the offshore wind roadmap is the product of thorough analysis and extensive input from a variety of public-private leaders and committed partners in industry, academia, coastal communities, and fisheries. The EDA grant will be matched with $267,624 in state funds and $112,457 in local funds, including funding from Maine Technology Institute and in-kind contributions from the University of Maine.

Senators Collins and King are longtime supporters of establishing Maine’s leadership in the offshore wind industry. They have consistently applauded the success of one of UMaine’s signature projects, the New England Aqua Ventus I, which will deploy deepwater floating turbines off of Maine’s coast. In July 2019, Senators Collins and King welcomed Secretary Simmons to UMaine for a tour of the university’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC). Discussions during the tour and meetings focused on the status of the Aqua Ventus project and steps to revitalize the state’s forest economy through a new partnership developing advanced 3D printing materials.