The DeepCwind Consortium’s ongoing mission is to establish the State of Maine as a national leader in deepwater offshore wind technology through a research initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and others. The University of Maine-led consortium includes universities, nonprofits, and utilities; a wide range of industry leaders in offshore design, offshore construction, and marine structures manufacturing; firms with expertise in wind project siting, environmental analysis, environmental law, composites materials to assist in corrosion-resistant material design and selection, and energy investment; and industry organizations to assist with education and tech transfer activities.
The DeepCwind Consortium consists of approximately 30 members around the country, including two universities, two nonprofits, and a diverse group of industry leaders.
Task 1: Micrositing, Geophysical Investigations, and Geotechnical Engineering
The primary objective of micrositing, geophysical investigations, and geotechnical engineering was the characterization of the seafloor environment for turbine anchoring at the University of Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site in the Gulf of Maine. Activities coordinated geologic and geotechnical engineering information with the metocean forces assessed in the Offshore Turbine Testing, Monitoring, and Reliability task and assisted in design of efficient moorings and anchors for the floating offshore wind turbines under the Floating Turbines Design and Lab Testing task. An additional objective of this task was to provide site location documentation and address safety and navigation at the site once the turbines and moorings are installed.
Task 2: Study of Environmental/Ecological Impacts
Maine Public Law 270, which allowed the establishment of the University of Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site, required that the following state and federal agencies be consulted concerning environmental monitoring and planning of the test site:
- Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
- Department of Marine Resources
- Department of Conservation
- Coast Guard
- Army Corps of Engineers
- NOAA Fisheries
These agencies required plans for siting, navigation, project removal, remedial action, and environmental/ecological monitoring. They also required reports and updates on site activities.
- Micrositing and geophysical investigations activities
- Bathymetric surveys
- Survey to check for presence of historically significant resources
- Site plan creation
- Navigation and safety plan creation
- Environmental/ecological monitoring activities
There will be wildlife-specific studies for:
- Benthic Invertebrates
- Marine mammals
- Birds and bats
- No live animals will be collected for the environmental monitoring efforts.
As part of the environmental/ecological monitoring plan that was part of the test site permit application, a review of the potential threats to marine life was considered and mitigation measures were designed. Potential areas of concern addressed in this report included the following:
- Entanglement of marine mammals in mooring lines and structures.
- Disturbance of migration and feeding areas.
- Bird and bat strikes.
- Attraction of fish or marine mammals to the platforms.
- Interruption of wave energy direction and focus.
- Human impacts.
- Visual impacts.
- Potential disturbance of historical or culturally significant areas.
All micrositing, environmental/ecological monitoring, and permitting activities were conducted from the start of the project in 2010 until the end of the project in 2012.
Task 3: Permitting and Policy
Under the recently enacted Maine Public Law 2009, Chapter 270 (LD 1465), the University of Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site is be located near Monhegan Island, an area selected by the state. This site was analyzed in detail through the state’s site selection process.
With Maine’s designation of the test site, the Permitting and Policy team secured specific permits for the proposed project from all applicable local, state, and federal permitting authorities. In conformance with the application requirements, to obtain a General Permit under LD 1465, the Permitting and Policy team, in conjunction with the Micrositing and Ecological Monitoring teams, submited a report to the required state and federal agencies describing:
- Existing commercial fishing and other uses in the project area, as well as the marine resources.
- A detailed monitoring plan of benthic invertebrates, fish, marine mammal, and avian wildlife.
- Monitoring plan of ambient noise levels possibly associated with project construction and, if needed, any subsequent operations and avoidance and mitigation measures.
- Navigation public safety plans.
- Project removal plan.
The team worked to develop these plans in consultation with federal, state, and local agencies, as well as stakeholders.
James W. Sewall Company
Task 4: Floating Turbine Design, Material Selection, and Lab Testing
The primary objectives of the Floating Turbine Design task was to:
- Partially validate the coupled aeroelastic/hydrodynamic models developed by NREL.
- Optimize platform designs by integrating more durable, lighter, hybrid composite materials.
- Develop a complete design of one or more scale floating turbine platforms, capable of supporting a wind turbine in the 10 kW to 250 kW range for deployment at the University of Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site.
Task 5: Offshore Turbine Testing, Monitoring, and Reliability
The Physical Oceanography Group (PhOG) at the University of Maine deployed and operated an oceanographic data buoy with real-time telemetry capabilities in the University of Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site offshore Monhegan Island. The ocean data buoy was deployed prior to the tank testing and remained in operation throughout the project period in order to monitor oceanographic, meteorological, and general environmental conditions. Monitoring emphasis was on wind speed and direction, visibility, directional waves, and water-column currents.
Task 6: Education and Outreach
The University of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy, and Northern Maine Community College developed several degree programs to create a trained workforce for the State of Maine. To ensure the community at large understands our research and development, the DeepCwind Consortium found numerous opportunities to share and discuss goals, activity plans, and the results of research. The consortium held public meetings to discuss the site selection for the University of Maine Deepwater Offshore Wind Test Site, presented at conferences within the state and across the country, and even taught an interactive wind-wave tank testing activity to over 500 K-12 students across Maine. These and other activities continued through the duration of the project.
Task 7: Project Management and Reporting
Task 8: Fabrication and Deployment
UMaine and its subcontractors led the fabrication and deployment of the approximately 1/8 scale floating wind turbine platform. The deployment study sought to identify key deployment and installation factors. The performance data gathered from the 1/8 scale platform was used to further validate platform numerical models developed by NREL and others.
November, 2013. “With Statoil behind it, Maine makes its case to lead in offshore wind technology.” Bangor Daily News
November, 2013. “UMaine releases offshore wind project proposal.” Portland Press Herald
June, 2013. “The Country’s First Floating Wind Power Is Now Bobbing Off The Maine Coast.” Fast Company
June 4, 2013. “LIDAR System Unveiled.” University of Maine
June 4, 2013. “First Floating Wind Turbine In The U.S. Deploys In Maine.” Huffington Post
June 3, 2013. “Maine Makes Waves with America’s ‘First’ Offshore Floating Wind Turbine.” Forbes
May 31, 2013. “A Floating Wind Tower Is Launched in Maine.” New York Times
May 31, 2013. “Prototype offshore wind turbine launched in Maine.” Bloomberg Businessweek
May 31, 2013. “First floating wind turbine in North America hits the water in Brewer.” Bangor Daily News
May 26, 2013. “UMaine shows off new buoy-based laser system that will gauge offshore wind speeds.” Bangor Daily News
April 9, 2013. “Offshore wind enters deeper Maine testing.” Morning Sentinel
December 13, 2012. “We Built This! Offshore Wind Power Gets Big Bucks From Joe Public”.Cleantechnica.com
December 13, 2012. “Maine offshore wind proposals win millions in federal grants“. Reinforcedplastics.com
December 12, 2012. “UMaine wins first phase of $93.2m deepwater floating offshore wind demonstration programme“. Morning Sentinel
December 12, 2012. “Obama offers funds to launch U.S. offshore wind farms“. USA TODAY
December 12, 2012. “DOE awards $4M to UMaine for offshore wind“. Bloomberg Businessweek
December 12, 2012. “DOE awards up to $4M to UMaine for offshore wind“. San Francisco Chronicle
December 12, 2012. “U.S. to Award $169 Million to Seven Offshore Wind Projects“. Bloomberg
December 12, 2012. “DOE awards up to $4M to UMaine for offshore wind“. Boston.com
January 20, 2012. “Innovative Projects Tap Renewable Energy Sources.” Science Friday.
September 8, 2011. “Communities tied by century-old shipwreck share technology, ideas during visit.” Bangor Daily News.
September 1, 2011. “UMaine Received Grant to Develop Longer Offshore Wind Blades.” North American Wind Power.
August 17, 2011. “Interior chief Ken Salazar to Visit UMaine.” BostonHerald.com
August 8, 2011. “Senators Introduce Offshore Wind Legislation.” North American Wind Power.
July 14, 2011. “Portland lawyer to work on renewable energy curriculum at UMaine.” Bangor Daily News.
June 20, 2011. “Ocean energy conference asks: Why not Maine?” Portland Press Herald.
June 17, 2011. “State’s ocean energy potential goes beyond generating power.” Portland Press Herald.
June 16, 2011. “Economic development in offshore wind power touted at closing day of conference.” Bangor Daily News.
June 6, 2011. “Wind clarification.” Bangor Daily News.
June 5, 2011. “What would LePage advisors have said to Wright Brohters?” Bangor Daily News.
June 3, 2011. “Offshore wind energy innovator speaks in Belfast.” Village Soup.
May 16, 2011. “DeepCwind Consortium Announces Winners of Windstorm Challenge 2011.” OffshoreWIND.biz.
May 11, 2011. “University Hosts Floating Wind Turbine Competition.” North American Wind Power.
April 5, 2011. “College students shaping Maine’s energy future.” WLBZ-2.com (video).
March 31, 2011. “UMaine Holding Meetings Around the Midcoast to Discuss Offshore Wind Test Site Near Monhegan.” The Free Press (Midcoast Maine).
February 24, 2011. “ANALYSIS: Maine Offshore Wind Report Gives Developers a Big Boost.” Offshore Wind Wire.
February 24, 2011. “University of Maine releases Offshore Wind Report.” North American Wind Power.
February 23, 2011. “UMaine report targets offshore wind bids.” Mainebiz
February 22, 2011. “University of Maine seeks potential developers for offshore pilot project.” OffshoreWIND.biz
February 22, 2011. “Official hopes firms will put turbines in Gulf of Maine.” Bangor Daily News.
February 22, 2011. “Deepwater wind power given boost from report.” Portland Press Herald.
January 26, 2011. “UMaine professor: offshore wind can be cost competitive.” Bangor Daily News.
January 26, 2011. “President Encourages New Clean Energy Standard.” North American Windpower.
January 24, 2011. “Maine Wind Energy Conference (USA).” OffshoreWIND.biz
October 28, 2010. “Monhegan prepares for wind power.” Bangor Daily News.
October 19, 2010. “Offshore Wind Conference Educates and Updates People On Historic Progress.” WABI-5 (Video)
October 19, 2010. “Consortium discusses potential for offshore wind at Northport conference.” WCSH-6 (Video)
October 19, 2010 “Offshore wind research aired at conference.” Bangor Daily News.
October 13, 2010. “U.S. Offshore Wind Industry Reaches Major Milestone.” Reuters.
September 29, 2010. “Our View: Offshore wind potential supported by new study.” Portland Press Herald.
September 3, 2010. “Dagher, UMaine Recognized for Offshore Wind Technology Work.” UMaine News.
September 2, 2010. “Maine Releases RFP for Offshore Wind and Tidal Energy.” Offshore Wind Wire.
August 16, 2010. Interview with Dr. Habib J. Dagher WCSH-6 (Video)
August 13, 2010. “High School Students Test Offshore Wind Platforms.” WABI-TV.
August 8, 2010. “State’s push for offshore wind energy intensifies.” Lewiston Sun Journal.
August 6, 2010. “La energía eólica se muda mar adentro.” Lanacion.com (Spanish)
July 22, 2010. “La primera granja eólica flotante del mundo.” BBC Mundo (Spanish)
July 20, 2010. “DeepCwind Consortium Extends Deadline for Prequalification Questionnaire.” AEWCAdvanced Structures & Composites Center/DeepCwind Consortium
July 15, 2010. “DeepCwind Focuses on Stabilizing Wind Turbines in Deepwater Locations.” Buildaroo.com
July 09, 2010. “Stabilisers will let deep-sea wind turbines stand tall.” New Scientist Magazine
June 29, 2010. “DeepCwind Consortium Issues Prequalification Questionnaire to Identify Qualified Floating Wind Platform Concept Designers.” AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center/DeepCwind Consortium
June 25, 2010. “At Sen. Collins’ Urging, Administration Commits $20 Million for Deepwater Offshore Wind.” UMaine News.
June 10, 2010. “Deepwater Drilling for U.S.? Try Deepwater Wind.” greentechmedia.
June 6, 2010. “State point man on offshore wind clearly energized.” Portland Press Herald.
June 5, 2010. “Setting the Course for Deepwater Offshore Wind.” Bangor Daily News special advertising supplement.
November 18, 2009. “Seeking Wind Energy, Some Consider the Sea.” New York Times.