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A University of Maine-led consortium has released the public version of its proposal to develop Maine Aqua Ventus I, a 12 MW offshore floating wind pilot in the Gulf of Maine. The project is Maine's only still-active offshore wind project, following Statoil's recent announcement that it was abandoning its own 12 MW Hywind pilot due to uncertainty and regulatory issues.

According to Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC, this public version of the proposal is another step in the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) process for approval of a power purchase agreement. It does not contain technically sensitive information or information reserved for the forthcoming term sheet, in compliance with PUC precedent, the consortium adds.

The group notes that Maine Aqua Ventus I is competing nationally against offshore wind projects in five other states for grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

“The PUC power purchase agreement is the next step in securing the DOE grant, which is critical for the success of this important project for our state,” says Jake Ward, speaking for Maine Aqua Ventus I. “The project is Maine’s entrant in the competition against other projects located in New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Ohio and Oregon.”

The public document includes the following project information:

- The project’s technology, including the floating submersible concrete hulls, the 270-foot-tall composite tower, and the two 6 MW direct-drive, permanent-magnet turbines.

- Maine Aqua Ventus GP LLC is committed to supplying Monhegan Island with electricity to meet its current needs at no generation cost.

- Maine Aqua Ventus I will be constructed on land and dockside to help reduce risk and cost. There remain several options for Maine ports.

- The transmission line will connect with the electric grid near Bristol.

The consortium says more information about the project will be released following the completion of a term sheet with the Maine PUC, which is expected to take place later this month.

The full public proposal is avilable HERE.

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