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Governor Mills Promotes Maine During Keynote Address at International Offshore Wind Conference

Governor announces the State has begun its process to procure 3,000 MW of offshore wind energy by 2040, a milestone in Maine’s efforts to develop responsible offshore wind, stabilize energy costs, and drive investment and job growth across the State.

New Orleans, LOUISIANA – Governor Janet Mills today promoted Maine’s leadership in responsibly pursuing offshore wind during a keynote address at the Oceantic Network’s International Partnering Forum (IPF), a major convening of offshore wind industry leaders, government officials, and other stakeholders in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Governor, who was invited by the Oceantic Network to participate, served as a featured speaker at the convening, delivering keynote remarks at the FloatON Summit, which brought together experts at the forefront of floating offshore wind technology and commercialization.

In her remarks, Governor Mills announced that the State has begun its process to procure up to 3,000 MW of offshore wind energy by 2040, with the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) today releasing a Request for Information (PDF) (RFI) seeking public input to inform the State’s first commercial offshore wind solicitation for the Gulf of Maine.

The RFI for procuring offshore wind energy, which follows a recommendation of the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap, marks a milestone in Maine’s efforts to develop responsible offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine, stabilize energy costs for Maine people, and drive investment and job growth across the state.

In July 2023, Governor Mills signed legislation to advance offshore wind in Maine by procuring up to 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Maine by 2040, creating opportunities for all Maine workers and businesses in the emerging offshore wind industry, and protecting critical lobstering areas from development.

”Offshore wind offers Maine the opportunity to generate clean, homegrown energy, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, to create good-paying jobs, and to protect our environment for future generations," said Governor Janet Mills. “Today, I am proud to announce that Maine is taking the first step in our offshore wind procurement process by releasing a Request for Information – a formal call for feedback from diverse stakeholders that will inform our procurement of offshore wind to reach 100 percent clean energy.”

“Public input gathered through this RFI will shape Maine’s first offshore wind solicitation, a key milestone in the development of responsible offshore wind for the State and the region," said Dan Burgess, Director of GEO. “Guided by the recommendations of the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap, Maine is committed to robust stakeholder engagement to maximize the opportunity to deliver clean, affordable, and reliable energy to households and businesses through responsibly developed offshore wind.”

The RFI seeks public input on Maine’s commercial offshore wind solicitation approach and implementation, regional coordination, fisheries protection and engagement, ports, workforce, transmission, environmental impacts, and other topics.

Responses collected through this RFI will be used by GEO and other state agencies to evaluate solicitation designs and consider key program objectives. There will be additional opportunities for public input throughout the ongoing solicitation design process, which is scheduled to be complete by July 2025.

The RFI can be viewed here (PDF. The deadline for responses is June 21, 2024. To receive email updates on Maine’s offshore wind program, including the solicitation process, visit this page.

During the IPF conference, Governor Mills also participated in a panel discussion focused on the importance of collaboration to advancing offshore wind. The Governor was joined by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director (BOEM) Liz Klein, Norway Ambassador to the U.S. Anniken Krutnes, and British Consul General Richard Hyde for the panel discussion.

Earlier this year, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management designated the final Wind Energy Area for the Gulf of Maine. That area excludes the entirety of Lobster Management Area (LMA) 1, as requested by Governor Mills and Maine’s Congressional Delegation. BOEM plans to host a commercial offshore wind lease auction by the end of 2024.

In addition, Governor Mills announced Sears Island as the preferred site for a port to service floating offshore wind. The purpose-built port facility will establish Maine’s place in the growing offshore wind industry, become a hub for job creation and economic development, and is welcomed by a strong and diverse coalition of environmental, labor, and economic organizations.

Offshore wind presents a generational opportunity to grow and diversify Maine’s clean energy workforce and supply chain. Maine’s clean energy economy grew the fastest in New England in 2022 and currently employs over 15,000 people, more than halfway to Governor Mills' goal of 30,000 clean energy workers in Maine by 2030.

Clean energy such as offshore wind can help reduce Maine’s over-reliance on electricity generated with imported fossil fuels, especially natural gas, which experienced significant price volatility during recent years due to upheaval in global energy markets.

A recent report on Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (PDF) (RPS), which establishes the minimum portion of electricity sold supplied by renewable sources such as wind power, found that Maine’s RPS has saved Maine ratepayers more than $21 million annually in electricity costs since 2011.

The Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap is a stakeholder-driven comprehensive plan that offers detailed strategies for Maine to realize economic, energy, and climate benefits from offshore wind, in conjunction with communities, fisheries, and wildlife of the Gulf of Maine.

The Roadmap was developed over 18 months in a robust public process led by a 24-person advisory committee with members from State agencies and energy, economic, fisheries, wildlife, science, and environmental leaders in Maine. Together, nearly 80 public sessions were held to develop the Roadmap.

For more information and recent news on offshore wind in Maine, please visit maineoffshorewind.org.