Where offshore wind researchers see the most opportunity

Federal researchers project the Northeast will make up about one-third of U.S. offshore wind generation by 2050.

The region is already trouncing the rest of the country. The first and only offshore wind farm began operating in December off the coast of Rhode Island.

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, within the Department of Energy, sees the region as a prime candidate for offshore wind development for two reasons: high wind speeds and shallow water depths they said “allow for more cost effective construction with currently available wind turbine platform technology.”

As the map of wind speeds below shows, waters farther off the Gulf of Maine have faster winds.

Harvesting that deepwater wind likely will require floating turbines, like the design in development at the University of Maine.

Darren Fishell

About Darren Fishell

Darren is a Portland-based reporter for the Bangor Daily News writing about the Maine economy and business. He's interested in putting economic data in context and finding the stories behind the numbers.