Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.166 million grant to the Governor’s Energy Office, Augusta, Maine, to develop a roadmap for establishing an offshore wind power industry. The EDA grant will be matched with $267,624 in state funds and $112,457 in local funds.
“Unleashing American innovation is critical to our global competitiveness,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will allow Maine to capitalize on its technical leadership in the wind power sector to diversify and grow the state’s economy and make it more resilient.”
“The Economic Development Administration is pleased to support the state of Maine’s strategy to advance its wind power industry,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will create a roadmap for establishing a floating offshore wind power industry by examining manufacturing processes, supply chains, port facilities, transportation systems, shipbuilding opportunities, ecosystem relationships, workforce development plans, power interconnections, exports, and economic impacts.”
“Maine is committed to the development of clean energy, the fight against climate change, and the pursuit of innovation to broaden and strengthen economic opportunities for our people,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This important award will give Maine a roadmap for growing our clean energy economy in collaboration with our heritage industries, especially fishing, in order to support our state’s economic recovery from COVID-19 and sound the call that Maine intends to be a global competitor, innovator and leader in floating offshore wind.”
“For generations, Maine has been one of the nation’s energy leaders, and this project will bring in new opportunities to grow our state’s clean energy economy,” said Senators Susan Collins and Angus King in a joint statement. “Thanks to our state’s extensive coastline, coastal communities, and the work of brilliant innovators in our state, a Maine offshore wind industry has the potential to become a leading energy provider for our region. This strategic roadmap funding will open the door to a powerful new source of clean energy and help us create good-paying jobs.”
“Mainers currently pay some of the highest electric rates in the country and our offshore wind resource potential is 36 times greater than the State’s electricity demand,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (ME-01). “This support for offshore wind power will not only lower electricity rates, it will provide a home-grown solution to our energy needs while providing a boost to our economy. This grant will also enable the Governor’s Energy Office to continue thoughtful engagement with existing ocean users, including commercial fishermen, as we work toward a clean energy future. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I have long championed federal investment in renewable energy projects, particularly offshore wind power. Offshore wind power holds enormous potential to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels and to create quality American jobs.”
This project is funded under the (Pub. L. 116-20) (PDF), in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program (PDF) funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.