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With offshore wind able to help Maine meet its renewable energy need to address climate change and a $70B opportunity for economic growth, the state is developing the EDA-funded Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap: Charting a Course for Maine. Maine’s position near population centers with high energy demands, an enterprising citizenry with maritime heritage, an innovative research environment, and a high-quality wind resource make our state an ideal place to responsibly develop an offshore wind industry. Maine needs to identify how to support an OSW economy in a way that embraces the opportunity, while ensuring the sustainability of our Maine coastal heritage, existing ocean users, and resources.
This working group will advise and help develop key components of the roadmap, including renewable energy mandates, energy markets and trends, analyses of costs and benefits of OSW, cost effective development of OSW, procurement, interconnection and transmission, storage, and R&D.
Goals of the Working Group
- Produce actionable, prioritized energy market strategies to attract the offshore wind industry to Maine; maximize economic benefit to Mainers; bring clean-cost-effective energy into Maine to meet our clean energy and climate goals; and support innovation in the offshore wind industry ; and
- Provide recommendations towards implementation of those strategies, including potential policy changes, research, funding options, and partnerships, in the immediate, near term (through 2025), and in the longer-term (from 2025 – 2040).
Deliverables to Advisory Committee
- Guidance on the structure, composition, and identification of work tasks relating to offshore wind procurement, transmission, and socioeconomic impact assessments.
- Consideration of and feedback on consultant-produced analyses and recommendations for market strategies relating to identify optimal pathways for various offshore wind scenarios.
- Synthesized draft report and presentation of recommendations to Advisory Committee.
This section outlines the activities of the working group:
- Mutual Learning: Initial working group meetings will focus on building a shared understanding of priority topics selected by working group members. These can be through short webinars.
- Engage: Throughout the process, we seek to engage stakeholders and experts to elicit ideas, hear their feedback, and share final recommendations. Meetings will be noticed on the GEO website and are open to the public. A list of suggested outreach opportunities will be developed by the working group. It is anticipated that most outreach will take place at already scheduled meetings of organizations and groups.
- Partner: While recognizing that each state may want to create space for state-specific issues, the OSW economy encompass shared public resources and will transcend state and national borders. The working group will proactively engage with NH, MA, the Canadian Maritime Provinces, and federal agencies on trans-boundary issues, as appropriate.
- Review and catalog references: At the request and guidance of the working group, staff and/or contractor will collect, review, and catalog existing reports, studies, and plans to assist the working group with its work. We will draw on existing data, strategies, and lessons learned from OSW energy activities and markets from other states, region, U.S., and countries (e.g., UK) to determine how to improve Maine’s ability to capitalize on the renewable energy market with OSW.
- Catalog Maine OSW Energy Market Resources: With guidance from the working group, a contractor and/or staff will review existing Maine energy laws, policies, regulations, OSW resource potential in federal waters of the Gulf of Maine, programs, reports, needs and strategies related to OSW.
- Assess existing Maine resources vs. opportunities: With guidance from the working group, a contractor and/or staff will assess the above existing Maine OSW resources/capabilities vs. renewable energy market opportunities (Gulf of Maine, regional, national, global) in the immediate, near term and the long term This assessment should include renewable energy requirements, energy markets and trends, analyses of costs and benefits of OSW with special consideration of equity and just transition, cost-effective development of OSW, interconnection and transmission, storage, and R&D. The assessment should highlight Maine’s opportunities for renewable energy from Gulf of Maine OSW in federal waters. This step may include identifying and directing a consultant to conduct additional analyses. Specific outcomes should seek to capitalize on:
- Global Market and Technology Trends for Floating OSW: Assess market trends for floating OSW and recommend opportunities for Maine to support a global floating offshore wind technology innovation hub. Identify industry-wide R&D needs, especially as it relates to floating technology, and determine and how Maine and the region may help meet those needs. This may include fostering opportunities to engage with global R&D efforts, provide fast track permitting for experimental deployments within certain areas in the Gulf of Maine, etc.
- Cost-Effective Development Strategies – Assess opportunities and policies needed to best drive cost-effective commercial offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine, including financial and investment strategies, permitting procedures, and energy procurement options to ensure cost effective prices for ratepayers.
- Beneficial Multi-State Collaboration – Identify areas where regional or multi-state collaboration could further Maine’s offshore wind goals, potentially including investment in regional offshore transmission assets, regional asset assessment and promotion, and other areas.
- Develop Plan to Improve – With guidance and approval from the working group, a contractor and/or staff will identify and prioritize recommendations for the immediate, near term (through2025) and long term (2025-2040) to improve the market opportunities for Maine OSW.
- Leadership, Programs, and Partnership (including multi-state) Opportunities
- Policies, Laws, Regulations (e.g., renewable energy mandates; energy demand projections; PPAs)
- Funding Opportunities – state and other
- Data, Information, Research, and R&D/Innovation Needs