Following the US Energy Department's awards to two Maine offshore wind engineering, site evaluation and planning projects, the Maine Composites Alliance (MCA), Maine Wind Industry Initiative (MWII) and Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) have released two comprehensive permitting and regulatory road maps for developers of offshore wind, wave and tidal projects in Maine.
Jeff Thaler, an energy and environmental attorney presently serving as Visiting Professor of Energy Law and Policy at the University of Maine Schools of Law and Economics, created the Permitting and Leasing for Maine Marine Hydrokinetic (MHK) Power Projects and the Permitting and Leasing for Maine Offshore Wind Energy Projects to help steer potential developers and interested parties through federal, state and local laws and regulations applicable for ocean energy projects.
According to Thaler, "Each road map serves as a detailed instructional outline for permitting and licensing in the Gulf of Maine, and as a guide to identify and navigate environmental and energy regulations. By making the path from project planning to development and ultimately to completion as clear and comprehensive as possible, we hope Maine can attract even more economic and energy opportunities to its waters and jobs for its people."
Paul Williamson, MWII Executive Director, added, "Maine not only has considerable natural wind and ocean energy resources, it has exceptional assets in its precision and composites manufacturing, engineering, construction, marine services and trades, applied research and development, and transportation and logistics communities."
"These road maps will help ensure that the state has the expertise available to assist developers and their supply chains through the legal and regulatory waters," Williamson added.
Steve Van Vogt, MCA Executive Director stated that "Maine's composites industry has been working with the University of Maine and other partners to develop cutting edge materials for the emerging offshore wind industry and these road maps are another step to making these efforts pay off for Maine businesses."
Jeff Marks, E2Tech Executive Director agreed. "Maine is already a leader in ocean energy innovation, as evidenced by federal awards to the University of Maine and Statoil for developing offshore wind technologies off the coast of Maine," he said. "These road maps will help attract more businesses to our shores and deep-water resources."