The news last month that a University of Maine-led offshore wind power project is receiving additional federal grant funding has prompting the town of Bristol to restart efforts to oppose the plan.
Residents of the midcoast town voted in 2014 to not allow the offshore wind project to connect to the town’s electric grid, although it appears the vote is only symbolic and carries no actual power. The project is proposing to install two six-megawatt wind turbines in deep water off Monhegan Island and connect to the mainland through an undersea cable.
The Lincoln County News reported that a town committee has begun meeting to discuss ways it can be proactive if the project continues.
Bristol residents opposing the project have cited concerns about the negative effects the cable could have on fisheries and shrimp draggers, concerns for the safety of birds and fears that the turbines could impact their ocean views.
The additional $3.7 million from the U.S. Department of Energy announced in November means the Maine project is back in the running for a $40 million grant. The grants from the DOE are intended to help the wind projects achieve commercial operation.
In 2014, the UMaine project was named a runner-up to three other projects for the grant, but problems with those projects prompted the DOE to give it an equal shot of securing a $40 million grant when the department reviews the progress of the four offshore projects next spring.
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