Oct 2, 2011

DeepCwind: Feds declare "no significant impacts" to Monhegan or GOM. Okay funding

Monhegan's viewshed and soundshed will change for the first time in some time, as the University of Maine and its DeepCwind Consortium finally get their multimillion dollar check cut by the US Dept of Energy to build the various components of America's first offshore wind turbine and tow them out to a site 2 miles south of the island.  

Happily UMaine has chosen to build a prototype for floating deepwater floating windpower extracting structures (see image), rather than the stick-in-the-mud steel & concrete thickets that other states have envisioned off their coasts.   

Key dimensions
* Blade length 13m (42.7ft)
* Rotor Diameter 27 m (88ft)
* Tower height: 13.7 m (44.9)
* Upper hull hgt: 23.4m ( 77ft)

Key Materials 
Blades: fiber reinforced polyester resin
Tower: Steel
Hull: Steel
Mooring Lines: HMPE Polyethylene
Anchors: Steel boxes filled w/ copper slag

It is the belief of the developers of the DeepCwind prototype, that they will learn sufficiently from this test bed over a two to three year period, to build and safely and cost-effectively deploy a great armada of floating deepwater turbines 25 and more miles off Maine.  Time will tell if they are right.

Below are links to all the documents used in the Department of Energy's decisionmaking process that has finally approved University of Maine’s "Deepwater Offshore Floating Wind Turbine Testing and Demonstration Project, Gulf of Maine" aka DOE/EA 1792 (pdf)

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