This report consists of a preliminary study of the feasibility of developing an up to 30 MW “stepping stone” floating offshore wind project and larger commercial-scale (100 – 300 MW) in federal waters off the coast of Maine. It provides key information to developers to help prepare successful bids in response to the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Request for Proposals (RFP) titled Request for Proposals for Long- Term Contracts for Deep-Water Offshore Wind Energy Pilot Projects and Tidal Energy Demonstration Projects. The RFP was issued in September 1, 2010 with proposals due in May 1, 2011. The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center (AEWC) led the effort to obtain and collect this information in order to facilitate the preparation of successful proposals to the Maine PUC. Funding to collect this information was received primarily from the Department of Energy (DOE), with significant contributions in kind from the University of Maine (UMaine). UMaine is committed to providing additional technical support leading to the most cost-effective floating designs, while minimizing risk, environment impact, and impact on other human activities.
This report includes (1) a summary of available information on the physical characteristics and wind and wave resources in the Gulf of Maine (GoM); (2) a study of potential electric grid interconnection points and offshore electric cabling requirements; (3) an evaluation of permitting requirements, potential environmental impacts and stakeholder considerations; (4) a summary of available construction and assembly resources in Maine; and (5) a summary of economic and policy implications. Section 8 also includes a detailed summary of findings, critical issues for project development, and permitting considerations.