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UMaine Unveils First Offshore Floating Wind Turbine
05/09/2013 11:37 AM ET  

The turbine is a 65-foot prototype that will be placed in the waters off the Maine coast near Monhegan Island later this month.

The University of Maine yesterday unveiled a wind turbine that will be used as a test for a fullscale offshore wind project near Monhegan Island.

"What you're looking at behind me is the first offshore, floating turbine in North America," said Peter Vigue, CEO of "Maine Deep C Wind Consortium" partner, Cianbro.

The turbine is a 65-foot prototype, built on a 1:8 scale at the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center. It will be placed in the waters off the Maine coast later this month.

Composites Center Director, Habib Dagher says this first unveiling is just the beginning.

"Offshore wind is our largest untapped renewable resource in the state of Maine," Dagher said. "We have 156 gigawatts of offshore wind within 50 miles of our coast. That's the equivalent of 156 nuclear power plants worth of wind blowing off the coast of Maine."

After this week's unveiling, the turbine will be disassembled, trucked to Brewer and then reassembled at Cianbro's Modular Construction site.

Later this month, the turbine will be floated down the Penobscot River to its test site in the Gulf of Maine near Monhegan Island, where it will be monitored in preparation for a fullscale turbine project to follow in 2015.

This story was reported and written by Jennifer Mitchell.


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