Maine to prohibit offshore wind projects in state waters

July 8, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine’s governor has signed off on a prohibition of offshore wind projects in state waters in a bid to ease concerns voiced by members of the commercial fishing industry.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills is a supporter of wind power, and last month signed a bill to help create the nation’s first floating offshore wind research area. That project would be located in federal waters.

Mills said in a statement Wednesday the new law reflects “our belief that these efforts should occur in Federal waters farther off our coast through a research array that can help us establish the best way for Maine to embrace the vast economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind.”

As much as three-quarters of Maine’s commercial lobster harvesting takes place in state waters closer to the coast. Members of the industry have voiced concern that developing wind projects in the Gulf of Maine could make it harder to harvest lobsters.

The Mills administration is working with University of Maine and New England Aqua Ventus on the research array. The administration said the project will contain up to 12 turbines.