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Maine applies for federal lease for offshore wind project

The 15.2-square-mile site is 29 miles from Cape Small in Sagadahoc County, 23 miles from Monhegan, and 45 miles from Portland.
Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File
FILE - In this July 2009 file photo, blades rotate on a wind turbine on Maine's Stetson Mountain in this July 2009 file photo. In addition to Stetson Mountain, Maine has four major wind farms, including Rollins in Penobscot County, Kibby Mountain in Franklin County, and Mars Hill in Aroostook County. Construction is under way at two more, Spruce Mountain in Woodstock and Record Hill near Rumford.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The administration of Gov. Janet Mills has submitted an application to the federal government to lease about 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) off the coast for a floating offshore wind research area.

Mills, a Democrat, has touted the project as the first such site in federal waters and a chance to chart a new course for renewable energy.

The site is 29 miles from the nearest mainland point, Cape Small in Sagadahoc County, 23 miles from Monhegan, and 45 miles from Portland, according to a release from the Governor's Energy Office.

“As demand for offshore wind energy increases, Maine is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in floating offshore wind research, technology, and innovation,” Dan Burgess, director of the Governor’s Energy Office, said in the release. “The abundant renewable energy potential in the Gulf of Maine is important for Maine’s long-term targets to transition to 100 percent clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and grow our economy.”

Maine wants to deploy a dozen or so wind turbines on floating hulls designed by the University of Maine.

The Governor’s Energy Office submitted its application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Friday.

Credit: Governor's Energy Office