Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap Signals Promising Path for Responsible Offshore Wind Development

Published Feb 23, 2023

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AUGUSTA, Maine (February 23, 2023)—Maine Gov. Janet Mill’s Energy Office today released the final Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap, laying out a comprehensive economic development plan for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine. The Roadmap was developed over the past 18 months based on extensive input from the fishing industry, labor and environmental groups, business interests, the University of Maine, government agencies, and many other stakeholders.

The Roadmap includes an offshore wind procurement recommendation, among others, that will be reflected in a forthcoming bill announced in late January by labor, conservation, and environmental groups in partnership with Sen. Mark Lawrence, co-chair of the Legislature's Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

Below is a statement by Steve Clemmer, director of energy and research analysis at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and a member of the Energy Markets and Strategies Working Group for the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap.

“The Roadmap is an appropriately ambitious plan that represents a major milestone in Maine’s transition to a clean energy future. The plan accelerates the development of floating offshore wind technology in the Gulf of Maine, an area with immense potential. Many studies have shown that offshore wind is a key strategy for decarbonizing the power sector and meeting Maine’s and New England’s climate and renewable energy obligations. It is also a smart economic strategy for creating new jobs and stabilizing energy prices by reducing the region’s reliance on imported natural gas.

“By adopting the offshore wind procurement recommendation, Maine would join other leading states in committing to deploy offshore wind and providing the certainty needed to attract investment. It will also put Maine in an excellent position to help meet the Biden Administration’s targets of developing 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind in the US by 2035 and lowering costs by 70 percent. The inclusion of recommendations for responsibly sited floating offshore wind projects are key pieces of the Roadmap that will help avoid, minimize and compensate for impacts on Maine’s fishing industry and wildlife.

“It’s encouraging to see state leadership commit long-term investments in innovative projects that will help limit the devastating and deadly impacts of climate change. After a comprehensive planning process, The Union of Concerned Scientists and our partners are grateful to see language included in the Roadmap that ensures organized labor and equity are a top priority. We look forward to partnering with elected leaders and other stakeholders to see through the efficient and equitable implementation of this groundbreaking plan to benefit workers and communities across Maine.”