In a 2-1 vote, the Maine Public Utilities Commissions approved agreement terms between the state and Maine Aqua Ventus to build two offshore wind turbines off Monhegan Island.
The wind pilot project will have an output capacity of 12-MW; and developers will sell power to Central Maine Power. Ratepayers will see an increase of $9 on their utility bills over the course of a year.
The ruling allows Maine Aqua Ventus, the University of Maine and its other partner companies to compete for a $46 million grant from the Department of Energy (DOE), according to the Maine Public Broadcasting Network.
"Once we're at the 100 percent design, then we can start looking at the whole construction process, and construction and installation and operation," Jake Ward UMaine's vice president of innovation and economic development, said in an interview with the network. "And the DOE has a schedule that would predict that we could be in the water and operating by the end of 2017."
Ward expects the DOE to respond to the grant proposal by May.