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The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved a contract proposal submitted by Norway-based Statoil for an offshore wind project planned for a site off Maine's coast, the Portland Press Herald reports.

The project will cost the average residential customer about $0.75 extra on their monthly electric bill; however, the PUC ruled that the benefits of offshore wind power in the state outweigh that cost.

In December 2012, the U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued a finding of no competitive interest for the area where Statoil requested a commercial wind energy lease. The proposed lease area covers approximately 22 square miles, located about 12 nautical miles offshore Maine.

The proposed Hywind Maine project would consist of four offshore wind turbines for a total of 12 MW of installed capacity, and would be the first project to use floating offshore wind turbine technology in the U.S.



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