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First grid-connected offshore wind turbine in North America launched

The University of Maine (UMaine)’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center and its partners will hold a launch celebration today for VolturnUS 1:8, the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine to be deployed off the coast of North America.

Floating turbine design

The approximately 65 ft tall turbine prototype is 1:8th the scale of a 6 MW, 423 ft rotor diameter design.

It is the first floating turbine of its kind in the world, with a unique floating hull and tower design.

The programe's goal is to reduce the cost of offshore wind power to enable it to compete with other forms of electricity generation with no subsidies.

DeepCWind Consortium

The VolturnUS technology is the culmination of more than five years of collaborative R&D conducted by the UMaine-led DeepCwind Consortium. The DeepCwind research programme is a public-private partnership funded by the US Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation-Partners for Innovation, the Maine Technology Institute, the state of Maine, the University of Maine and more than 30 industry partners.

Data acquired during the 2013 deployments off Castine and Monhegan will be used to optimise the design of UMaine’s patent-pending VolturnUS system.

The UMaine Composites Center has partnered with industry leaders to invest in a 12 MW, US$96 million pilot farm. The deployments this summer will 'de-risk' UMaine’s VolturnUS technology in preparation for connecting the first full-scale unit to the grid in 2016.

Wind in Maine

Maine has 156 GW of offshore wind capacity within 50 miles of its shores and a plan to deploy 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030. The 5 GW plan could potentially attract $20 billion of private investment to the state, creating thousands of jobs.



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