“Maine’s utility commission has approved a $120 million pilot project to erect four floating windmills in its coastal ocean waters, where wind speeds are stronger and more consistent than on land.
The project by Norway’s Statoil, the company that seeks to expand testing of a new technology to allow wind power to be generated in deep oceanic waters, would provide enough power for about 7,000 Maine homes.
The move by the state utilities commission is a first but important step in a lengthy approval process not expected to conclude until 2014. If all goes smoothly, electricity from the windmills could be generated as soon as 2016, the company said.
Located 12 miles offshore, each of the 236-foot (72 meter) high towers would hold three 166-foot (51 meter) long blades, and would float in water about 500 feet deep.