The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Thursday it would move forward with an environmental impact study for a proposed offshore wind-energy project anchored 10 miles off the Maine coast.
“The innovative floating wind turbine technology will open up deeper waters off our coasts, helping Maine to create jobs and lead the nation in clean energy production,” U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, said in a news release announcing the decision by the BOEM to move forward with the impact study.
Michaud called the move an important first step.
The full-scale, floating wind turbine project, dubbed “Hywind Maine” would be built by the Norwegian energy giant Statoil and is expected to include four turbines with a generation capacity of 12 megawatts.
The EIS is designed to consider any environmental consequences of the project, according to Michaud’s release.
The federal agency is seeking public comment on environmental issues and reasonable alternatives related to the proposed leasing, site characterization and assessment activities, and construction and operation activities in the offshore area under consideration.
Last October, Statoil applied for a commercial lease for space in the federally controlled waters on the Outer Continental Shelf off the state’s coast about 12 miles from Boothbay Harbor.
The company was deemed legally qualified for the lease in November 2011 and technically and financially qualified in April this year, according to Michaud’s release.
In June, Statoil held a series of public meetings in Maine to update residents on the project’s status, according to the Portland Press Herald.
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