University of Maine to produce first U.S. floating wind turbine

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ORONO, Maine (WABI) - The University of Maine is producing a floating wind turbine.

The University's Volturn U.S. Design has won 40 million dollars from the Department of Energy to build the 12-megawatt Aqua Ventus One Demonstration Project.

The floating concrete hulls will be built onshore in Maine and towed 14 miles offshore and moored to the seabed.

The ability to produce hulls locally reduces costs and creates jobs.

Dr. Habib Dagher, University of Maine, said, "We'd be the first floating wind turbine project. So, the goal here is to put turbines behind the horizon, over 20 miles offshore so no one ever knows that they are there because they are beyond the horizon. As you get farther out from shore the winds get to be stronger and steadier. Off the coast of Maine, we have the sturdiest and strongest winds on the east coast of the United States."

Harnessing 3% of the Gulf of Maine's offshore wind potential could allow for the transition to electric heating and electric cars.