Newly formed Maine Offshore Wind Port Advisory Group (OSWPAG) visits the ASCC

ASCC Updates

Newly formed Maine Offshore Wind Port Advisory Group (OSWPAG) visits the ASCC

July, 13, 2022

ORONO, Maine 𑁋 The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) welcomed members of the newly-formed Offshore Wind Port Advisory Group (OSWPAG) to tour our facilities and learn about the ASCC’s work in offshore wind, coastal resiliency, transportation infrastructure and more. 

OSWPAG was formed by the State of Maine to advise the Maine Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Energy Office, and other state officials on the development of an offshore wind port in Maine, capable of handling floating wind turbines. This effort is coupled with the Maine Offshore Wind Initiative led by the Governor’s Energy Office, which is tasked with exploring the development of the rapidly growing offshore wind industry and how we can harness the immense energy potential in federal waters off the Gulf of Maine while maintaining collaboration and cooperation with maritime industries. 

“We expect the stakeholders on this group to have varying perspectives and to engage in robust and thoughtful discussions regarding the potential for port development to support the rapidly growing offshore wind market,” said Bruce Van Note, the commissioner of MaineDOT,  “This group’s work will provide important input as we look ahead to the ways Maine can help harness clean energy while creating jobs and strengthening our state’s economy.”.

“Fabrication, assembly, and deployment of floating offshore wind turbines require specialized port facilities,” said Dagher, “these floating turbines are in some ways like ships, and it is hard to build a ship without a shipyard.   UMaine has developed unique technologies for full-scale floating wind deployment, called VolturnUS, with over 70 patents issued, but now we need to invest in the infrastructure to support this industry.”

In November of 2021, the MaineDOT released a comprehensive Offshore Wind Port Infrastructure Feasibility Study. An offshore wind port would provide a place for turbines to be assembled, and deployed and provide access for shipping and receiving critical infrastructure.

Offshore wind is a new industry and requires new infrastructure to support it. Investment in offshore wind is an investment in Maine’s diversifying economy. NEAV I is estimated to produce nearly $200 million in total economic output. More than 1,500 Maine-based jobs, including construction, operations, and maintenance jobs, will reduce Maine’s (nearly $6 million annual) reliance on imported fossil fuels. 

In Maine, offshore wind energy represents our largest untapped natural energy resource, with more than 156 GW (1 gigawatt =1,000 megawatts) of clean power off our coast thanks to the Gulf of Maine’s high-quality offshore wind resource.

For more than a decade, ASCC researchers have been industry-leading figures in the advancement of floating offshore wind from the successful demonstration of the patented VolturnUS 1:8 to the commercialization of our DeepCLiDAR wind assessment buoy to the creation of New England Aqua Ventus I, which is poised to deploy the first US commercial-scale 11 MW floating offshore wind turbine.  

Contact: Taylor Ward,