Maine Governor Janet Mills has taken a significant step forward by signing LD 1895 into law. This legislation aims to promote the growth of offshore wind energy in Maine, with plans to procure up to 3,000MW of offshore wind power.

In addition to advancing renewable energy, the law will also enable critical port development, which will create new opportunities for Maine’s workforce and businesses within the emerging offshore wind industry.

Sponsored by Senator Mark Lawrence, the legislation seeks to position Maine as a leader in offshore wind, particularly in innovative floating wind technology for deep Federal waters in the Gulf of Maine.

It will also support Maine’s efforts to benefit from offshore wind’s potential that includes creating well-paying jobs, stimulating economic activity, stabilising energy costs by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.

Governor Mills said: “Offshore wind, done responsibly, offers Maine the opportunity to secure abundant clean energy, stable energy prices, good-paying jobs, and a healthier environment for future generations.

“I thank the legislators and stakeholders who, through collaboration and compromise, have positioned Maine to pursue offshore wind in a manner that puts all Maine workers and businesses on a level playing field, invites investments in critical port infrastructure, and importantly, respects those who rely on the ocean for their livelihoods. I am pleased with of the outcome of this legislation and proud to sign it into law.”

The new legislation incorporates certain provisions from LD 1847, sponsored by Senator Chip Curry addressing offshore wind port siting criteria. The initial bill had been vetoed by Governor Mills due to concerns that it could exclude many Maine workers. However, the compromise bill signed today resolves these concerns and takes several steps to advance offshore wind in Maine.

The new bill authorises the Governor’s Energy Office to establish an offshore wind energy procurement and schedule, issued through the Maine Public Utilities Commission. This aims to procure up to 3,000MW of electricity from offshore wind projects by 2040, aligning with Maine’s goal of achieving 100% clean energy.

It maximises opportunities for all Maine workers and employers in the offshore wind industry by ensuring equal bidding opportunities for contracts based on job-quality standards. Additionally, it allows certain Maine-based independent contractors to participate.

The law also enacts new standards to facilitate the construction of an offshore wind port facility in Maine and protects Lobster Management Area 1, a prime lobstering ground in the Gulf of Maine.