Why offshore wind?

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of the Interior (DOI) released a National Offshore Wind Strategy document in September 2016 which indicates that 80% of U.S. electricity demands are located in coastal states, and that the total U.S. offshore wind energy potential is more than twice what the entire country currently uses. Nearly 80% of the U.S. offshore wind resource is located in deepwater.

Offshore wind development will:

  1. Create new jobs for Mainers. (Gabe, 2013)
  2. Minimize viewshed issues
  3. Place renewable energy generation closer to major U.S. population centers.
  4. Allow access stronger and more consistent winds.
  5. Reduce energy costs over time by reducing transmission costs from remote land sites, simplifying deployment, and simplifying maintenance.

In Maine, offshore wind energy represents our largest untapped natural energy resource, with more than 156 GW (1 gigawatt =1,000 megawatts) of potential energy waiting to be harnessed off the coast of Maine. The Gulf of Maine boasts a higher quality offshore wind resource than most parts of the U.S. Mainers currently use 2.4 GW (2,400 megawatts) of electricity each year, however, the Gulf of Maine is located very close to New England populations centers with high electrical demand.