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Mon Nov 23, 2020, 03:29 PM

After Scotland Tour, Maine Hatches Offshore Floating Wind Turbines Plot

Floating windmills and green hydrogen

After Scotland Tour, Maine Hatches Offshore Floating Wind Turbines Plot

For those of you new to the topic, floating wind turbines are designed for water that is too deep for conventional platform construction. The US got a head start on floating wind turbine R&D during the Obama administration, but things stalled out after that.

Aside from political obstacles and potential conflicts with maritime commerce, floating wind turbines pose unique engineering challenges, which is why they have been popping up in some parts of the world but not others.

That leads to Maine, which has some of the deepest and most challenging waters for wind turbines, but also boasts sustained offshore wind speeds that are among the best in the world. According to one estimate, the state’s offshore wind resources could meet its existing electricity demand 36 times over.

With an eye on that prize, Maine policy makers have been supporting a public-private research collaboration through the University of Maine and a firm called Maine Aqua Ventus, which got an assist from the US Department of Energy back in 2015. That was quite an achievement, considering then-governor Paul LePage’s opposition to renewable energy development.

Last December CleanTechnica noted that Maine is already chock full of renewable energy, which leads one to question why should they take a risky bet on the as-yet untried floating wind turbine area.

Part of the answer may lie in that Scottish wind industry tour. Scotland has begun to leverage its powerful offshore wind industry to produce green hydrogen, and Maine has been eyeballing green hydrogen as a way to deliver more clean kilowatts despite some bottlenecks in its existing transmission system.

Just to spice the green hydrogen angle up a bit, Mitsubishi is involved in the Maine project, having acquired the newly dubbed firm New England Aqua Ventus through a joint venture with its Mitsubishi Renewables Diamond Offshore Wind subsidiary and the firm RWE Renewables. Mitsubishi is making a hard pivot into green hydrogen, so it will be interesting to see where that fits into Maine’s floating wind turbine scheme.

State policy makers may also be looking to position Maine’s offshore wind resources for energy export, deploying green hydrogen. Decarbonizing the state’s fishing industry could also be on the to-do list, considering recent activity in the hydrogen fuel cell watercraft field.


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Reply After Scotland Tour, Maine Hatches Offshore Floating Wind Turbines Plot (Original post)
Finishline42 Nov 2020 OP
The Blue Flower Nov 2020 #1

Response to Finishline42 (Original post)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 03:58 PM

1. Sounds very promising

Thanks for posting this.

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