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US Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that Maine’s New England Aqua Ventus I floating offshore wind demonstration project, designed by a University of Maine-led consortium, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to participate in the Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration program.
New England Aqua Ventus I will be one of up to three leading projects that are each eligible for up to $39.9 million in additional funding over three years for the construction phase of the demonstration program.“Today’s decision by the Department of Energy puts Maine firmly on the map of America’s emerging offshore wind industry,” Collins and King said in a joint statement. “With the project’s innovative and cutting-edge floating design, the University of Maine has once again catapulted our state to the forefront of clean energy innovation through advanced technologies that could harness and deploy the vast wind resources off our nation’s coast. This decision is outstanding news for Maine and a testament to the unmatched hard work and ingenuity of the University of Maine and the numerous Aqua Ventus partners. We applaud them for their efforts and will continue to support them as they strive to lead our state and nation into a brighter, cleaner energy future.”In May 2014, the DOE announced that the New England Aqua Ventus project had been selected as an alternate for the Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Program and was awarded $3 million for continued design and engineering development.In November 2015, DOE informed Collins and King that it would provide an additional $3.7 million to UMaine, under a contract that will soon be finalized, to continue the development tasks. The award brought total funding for the New England Aqua Ventus project on par with the previously selected demonstration projects that were awarded $6.7 million each.In April 2016, the New England Aqua Ventus I project was reviewed by DOE to be eligible for $39.9 million toward construction of the demonstration project. Over 70 reports were submitted to the DOE.The company formed to build the commercial-sized demonstration project is Maine Aqua Ventus I GP, LLC. Initially assembled by UMaine, this global consortium has formed a collaborative leadership team to develop, construct and operate this offshore wind project. It is expected that more than 25 other organizations will contribute to the project.More information: www.umaine.edu