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Castine, Maine—Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) vessels will deploy the first grid-connected floating offshore wind turbine off of Dyce Head, its test location, between Saturday, June 1 and Monday, June 3, 2013. Deployment of the one-eighth scale turbine, the VolturnUS 1:8, will take place in stages: MMA vessels will tow the turbine from the Cianbro modular manufacturing facility in Brewer to Bucksport and moor it until the next outgoing tide June 2, when it will be towed to Dyce Head and moored for the following 30 days. On Monday, June 3 the turbine will be connected to the power grid. The turbine will rise approximately 60 feet above its floating concrete platform.
Data acquired during this deployment period will be used to optimize the design of the University of Maine's Advanced Structures and Composites Center’s patent-pending VolturnUS floating wind turbine system. The program goal is to reduce the cost of offshore wind to 10 cents/kWh by 2020, in order to compete with other forms of electricity generation without subsidies.
The VolturnUS technology is the culmination of over five years of collaborative R&D conducted by the University of Maine-led DeepCwind Consortium. The DeepCwind Consortium Research Program is a unique public-private partnership funded by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation-Partnerships for Innovation, the Maine Technology Institute, the State of Maine, the University of Maine, and over 30 industrial partners. The deployment celebrates an important milestone in the development of a cost-effective, job-creating, innovative U.S. offshore wind technology.
“This is a natural collaboration between Maine higher education institutions and industry, using our individual expertise for the benefit of Maine citizens,” said Maine Maritime Academy President, Dr. William J. Brennan. “As a DeepCwind Consortium partner, we are proud to be part of this project.”
Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 17 degree programs in engineering, management, science and transportation. The college is consistently ranked by US News and World Report as one of the top undergraduate engineering schools in the nation. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.