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The University of Maine’s Advanced Structure and Composites Center has been awarded a $12.4 million (US) grant from federal Recovery Act funds.
The funds will enable the Center to build and test offshore wind technologies in the laboratory before putting them in deep water.
Additionally, these funds will also enable the center to develop nanocomposite materials, using Maine’s wood supply to manufacture composite material that it is hoped will be stronger than steel.
“The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center has been central to our vision of increasing manufacturing and technology jobs here in Maine, promoting renewable energy production, and growing the economy and jobs in the State,” said Governor Baldacci. “I am pleased that the Federal government has again recognized the work of Dr. Habib Dagher and his team. The Center plays a vital role in realizing Maine’s potential for deep water offshore wind generation and Maine’s ability to become more energy independent.”
According to the Governor’s office, there are currently 300 megawatts operating or under construction in Maine, with another 450 megawatts of wind in various stages of development throughout the State.
Maine is said to account for 95 percent of the operating on-shore wind capacity in New England.
The Governor said that the potential of our offshore wind resources is even greater, estimated at 100 gigawatts, or three-to-four times the current peak demand for all of New England.
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