New England Aqua Ventus I Wind Project: Is It Right For Bristol?

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Project Overview:
In 2009, the State of Maine designated an offshore site near Monhegan Island as a "Maine Offshore Wind Energy Test Site."  As part of a federal competition for significant funding through the Department of Energy, University of Maine, in conjunction with Maine Aqua Ventus, submitted a bid in August 2013 to the Public Utilities Commission for their proposed 12MW floating wind turbine project, which consisted of two floating wind turbines and their associated undersea cables/land-based infrastructure.  If granted funding by the Department of Energy, the turbines were slated to be placed in the Test Center, connected to Monhegan and to an onshore location in Bristol via undersea cable, and selling electricity to the grid by 2017.  

*You can find details about this proposed Project here:  Project Specifications 

*You can find information about Bristol's perspectives here:   Town Perspectives (Survey, Survey Results, Fishermen's Concerns)

*You can find information about various questions/answers regarding the Project here:   Questions and Answers  


March 30, 2017

March 2017

June 8, 2016

May 27, 2016

December 11, 2015:

November 16, 2015:

October 1, 2014:

October 1, 2014:

Sept. 23, 2014:

June 23, 2014:

June 18, 2014:

May 7, 2014:

Senator Dana Dow, Lincoln County, submits LD 1262, "An Act to Protect Mohegan Island by Limiting Wind Turbines," to the Maine Legislature.  Bill language can be found here: 

U. S. Department of Energy holds Scoping Meeting for revised New England Aqua Ventus I Project. Note that the new projected landfall location for the undersea cable is in Port Clyde, Maine.  Presentation can be found here:

DCNS Group, a French defense company with over $3 billion in annual revenues, announces it will help develop Aqua Ventus' Wind Power Project.

The U.S. Department of Energy has determined that the University of Maine's New England Aqua Ventus 1 project has made substantial progress and will be on boarded into the demonstration program, along with the other alternate project, LEEDCO.  This means they have received funding to proceed with the project.  

Maine Aqua Ventus becomes "New England Aqua Ventus I."

The U.S. Department of Energy granted UMAINE an additional $3.7 million to continue research and development work on its wind turbine project.  While the UMaine project remains in alternate status, Jake Ward, UMaine's assistant vice president for innovation and development, notes they are "still in the game."  Decisions regarding the allocation of an additional $40 million grant will be made on made on  May 31, 2016.

Bristol Voters Turned Out in Unprecedented Numbers to Say NO to Cables from Offshore Wind Turbines
  • In addition to a number of non-residents, 227 individuals, or approximately 10% of Bristol's registered voters, packed the Special Town Meeting held in Bristol's gym on October 1.
  • With almost no discussion, an overwhelming majority (an estimated 90-10 split) voted against "allowing placement in our town of high powered transmission cables to connect the grid to the Monhegan wind power test project."
  • Voters also approved the Shoreland Zoning Ordinance Amendments and the addition of $2000 for legal  fees incurred as a result of wind power related issues.

Special Bristol Town Meeting 
WHERE:  Bristol Consolidated School
WHEN:  7:00 p.m.
WHY:  To address Shoreland Zoning Ordinance changes, Harbor Ordinance changes, Citizens' Petition Vote

Meeting with UMaine
WHERE:  Bristol Consolidated School
WHEN:  6:00 p.m.
WHY:  To find out what is going on, how it might involve the Town, and ask questions from representatives of the University of Maine.

The University of Maine met with Bristol's Wind Power Advisory Committee and Bristol's citizens to update them on the current status of the Project, and to answer continued questions regarding the Project.
The University of Maine met with the Monhegan Energy Task Force to update them on the current status of the Project, given the fact that they were not awarded full funding by the Department of Energy.
The Department of Energy (DOE) designated the Maine Aqua Ventus Wind Project as an "alternate grant recipient" and awarded it approximately $3 million to continue the design and engineering aspects of the Project.  Notably, the DOE selected projects in Oregon, New Jersey, and Virginia as recipients for the full funding.