PORTLAND, Maine — A plan for a floating offshore wind research array off Maine has cleared a key hurdle with federal regulators.
The Bureau of Energy Management on Thursday announced it has made a determination of no competitive interest for the proposal. That means the agency will move ahead with the state of Maine's research application for the project.
The array would include technology developed by the University of Maine in federal waters about 45 miles off of Portland. The proposal is slated to include 10 to 12 turbines on floating concrete platforms and is touted by supporters as the first of its kind in the U.S.
The government's decision to move the project ahead is "a positive step forward in Maine’s responsible pursuit of floating offshore wind research,” said Dan Burgess, the director of the Governor’s Energy Office in Maine.
Promoters of the project have said they intend for it to be operational by the end of the decade.
Democratic Gov. Janet Mills has backed wind power as part of the state's energy future. The state has also prohibited offshore wind projects in state waters to try to ease concerns raised by commercial fishermen.