The decision to conduct a second round of competitive bidding clears the way for the University of Maine-led consortium to pitch for a power purchase agreement with the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
It also prompted Norwegian multinational Statoil to stop work on its 12MW Hywind floating turbine project, for which the PUC had approved a term sheet for a 20-year agreement earlier this year.
The University of Maine’s DeepCWind group, which now has a one-eighth scale prototype floating turbine, dubbed VolturnUS, generating electricity off the coast of Maine, has until September to prepare a bid for the 12MW Aqua Ventus 1 pilot project.
Statoil’s Hywind floating foundation uses a 100-metre steel spar anchored to the sea bed to support the platform-mounted turbine. The University of Maine’s VolturnUS is a semi-submersible, which allows it to be towed into shallow water harbours for repairs or maintenance.