EA-2049: University of Maine’s New England Aqua Ventus I, An Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Project, Offshore Monhegan Island in the Gulf of Maine

Office of NEPA Policy and Compliance

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DOE Environmental Assessment (EA)

Due to delays in completion of surveys and studies needed to provide necessary
information for the EA and other regulatory requirements, DOE
does not have an anticipated date for release of the draft EA.*
*DOE will continue to update the EA schedule, so check back for updates.

 Click here for Key Steps in the DOE NEPA Process

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to provide funding to the University of Maine to support the development of an offshore wind advanced technology demonstration project (i.e., New England Aqua Ventus I) consisting of two turbines on floating foundations in the Gulf of Maine, approximately 2.5 miles south of Monhegan Island, Lincoln County, Maine and 12 miles off the mainland. This proposed project is also known as the Maine Aqua Ventus I project. Development actions include design, construction, and commissioning of the proposed project; environmental monitoring; and five years of post-construction structural and performance monitoring data collection by the University of Maine. Additional project activities and/or potential impacts from the project would occur in or near Hampden, Searsport, Port Clyde, Monhegan Island and Pemaquid, Maine. The operation, maintenance and eventual decommissioning of the proposed project are considered connected actions under the Council on Environmental Quality's Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (40 CFR 1508.25) and will be analyzed in the Environmental Assessment (EA) as part of the Proposed Action.

Information Sharing

The University of Maine continues to work with the DOE in support of DOE's National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review.  DOE is responsible for reviewing and evaluating all information prepared by the University of Maine, subcontractors, and/or other agencies prior to this information being shared with the public to ensure all information meets DOE expectations and requirements.  DOE does not have an anticipated date for release of the draft EA due to delays in the surveys and studies, but will continue to update the EA schedule as work progresses.  Please check this webpage for updates.

In addition, DOE may share applicable reports and study results prior to the draft EA release to support required consultations including the National Historic Preservation Act section 106 process.  DOE will ensure this information is also posted on this webpage to ensure all parties have access to the same information unless the information is protected from disclosure by federal statute due to its sensitivity.

*Note - The University of Maine has an established website which provides updates on current project activities:  http://maineaquaventus.com

For more information on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Offshore Wind Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects, click here.

For information on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting process for the proposed New England Aqua Ventus I project, please contact Jay Clement via email at Jay.L.Clement@usace.army.mil.

What's New

Winter 2017-2018 – The University of Maine is completing key studies including marine and terrestrial archaeological surveys, historic property identification and sound studies which are needed to support the draft EA development.

Summer 2017 - The Draft EA for this proposed project is being developed.  DOE has also initiated National Historic Preservation Act section 106 consultation for the proposed project and is identifying potential consulting parties including Native American tribes, local historical societies and town officials to participate in the section 106 consultation process.

Spring 2017 - On February 28, 2017 DOE conducted two public scoping informational meetings in Tenants Harbor, Maine.  On March 1, 2017 DOE conducted a public scoping informational meeting on Monhegan Island, Maine.  DOE would like to thank all of those who were able to participate in these meetings.  The public scoping comment period ended on March 22, 2017.

For a copy of the PowerPoint presentation presented at the March 1 scoping meeting and an audio recording of the meeting, click here.  Please note the audio recording does not include the first few minutes of the meeting due to technical difficulties.