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Updated: November 11, 2020

Offshore wind developer solicits Maine participation in supply chain

COURTESY / UNIVERSITY OF MAINE New England Aqua Ventus announced two initiatives to encourage Maine businesses to join the supply chain for itsoffshore wind technology demonstration project. Shown here in a rendering of the project.

New England Aqua Ventus LLC, developer of the University of Maine’s offshore floating wind technology demonstration project, has launched two initiatives to encourage Maine businesses to join its supply chain. 

The project is expected to produce more than $125 million in total economic activity and create hundreds of Maine-based jobs during the construction period, according to a news release.

NEAV, a joint venture between Diamond Offshore Wind and RWE Renewables, is managing all aspects of permitting, construction and assembly, deployment and ongoing operations for the project.  

The business is aiming to build a supply chain in Maine for offshore wind by maximizing the involvement of Maine-based organizations in all aspects of the project.  

NEAV has established an online supply chain portal where local businesses interested in participating can register.  

Click here to learn more.

NEAV plans to hold a live virtual event at 11 a.m. on Nov. 18 to share information with Maine businesses about the project and the opportunities to participate in it.  

“NEAV is totally committed to doing everything we can to use Maine content and services in the development, construction and operation of the project,” Chris Wissemann of New England Aqua Ventus LLC said in the release. “We urge anyone who might have a service or material that could contribute to the demonstration project to visit our website’s supply chain portal and also participate in the upcoming supply chain Zoom event.”

The demonstration project will consist of a single semisubmersible concrete floating platform, to be developed by UMaine and to support a commercial 10-12 megawatt wind turbine. The floating turbine will be deployed in a state-designated area 2 miles south of Monhegan Island and 14 miles from the Maine coast.  

The purpose of the demonstration project is to further evaluate the floating technology, monitor environmental factors and develop best practices for offshore wind to coexist with traditional marine activities in the Gulf of Maine.  

Construction, following all permitting, is expected to occur during 2022 and 2023. 

A number of Maine-based companies with considerable experience and expertise in energy projects are already involved in the floating offshore wind demonstration project.  

“Cianbro has been a founding member of the Aqua Ventus team for over 10 years and we remain deeply supportive and committed to the development of offshore wind in Maine,” said Pete Vigue, chair of the Cianbro Co. “In partnership with the University of Maine and with many other collaborators, Cianbro built and deployed the one-eighth scale demonstration unit off Castine.”

Cianbro will participate in the construction and deployment of the first full-scale floating concrete hull and offshore generating unit.

Stantec, an engineering services company headquartered in Edmonton, Canada, with an office in Topsham, and Augusta engineering company SGC Engineering are assisting the University of Maine and their development partners on the floating turbine demonstration project.

“With our background in electric utility system design as well as involvement with many renewable project interconnections to the ISO-NE and Maine grid, we have provided significant design and siting efforts from the early stages of project development, particularly with onshore facilities,” said Jeffrey Fenn, SGC’s director of engineering.  

In August, UMaine announced that Diamond Offshore Wind and RWE Renewables would invest $100 million to build the project and help demonstrate the technology at full scale.

In November 2019, the state Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve a 20-year contract under which Central Maine Power Co. will purchase electricity generated by the Aqua Ventus project.

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November 11, 2020

This yet another foolish pursuit; trying to harness the wind as opposed to reliable fossil fuels to provide electricity. Even under optimum conditions wind has a reliability index in the negative and without the generous government subsidies [YOUR tax dollars] can never make economic sense let alone cover the cost of fabrication and installation.

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