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Hot Topics: Offshore Wind Energy in Maine: Getting Started

Why the Interest in Offshore Wind in Maine?

Offshore wind resources are plentiful, stronger and more consistent than those on land. Research suggests that more than four times the current generating capacity of US electric power plants is available from state and federal waters off the coast of the United States and Great Lakes. Realistically, not all of the sites will be developed, but it does show offshore wind energy is a viable energy solution for coastal populations (EERE, 2014). Maine ranks among the states with the highest potential for offshore wind power generation (see map below). But currently, Maine does not use its greatest and potentially most valuable renewable energy resource. Another bonus is the job creation that would accompany development of a new industry. This is why researchers, developers, economists, government agencies (federal, state and local), and Maine's residents have all taken an interest in offshore wind development in Maine (ASCC, 2013).

 

Image courtesy of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 2011. Interactive map available with offshore wind energy potential estimates for other coastal states. 

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