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DOE awards up to $4M to UMaine for offshore wind

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The Department of Energy is awarding about $4 million apiece to the University of Maine and to a subsidiary of a Norwegian company to deploy floating wind turbines off the Maine coast.

The grants are expected to qualify Maine for millions more in federal funding.

UMaine aims to deploy two floating turbines supported by a concrete platform off Boothbay. Statoil North America Inc. plans to have turbines supported by a buoy system near Monhegan Island.

Maine was the only state to win two grants.

DOE spokeswoman Niketa Kumar said Wednesday that both offshore wind projects will deploy turbines larger than those deployed anywhere else in the world.

Sen. Olympia Snowe said offshore wind "will one day be a commercially viable technology that could revolutionize clean energy and energy costs."