ORONO  — The U.S. Energy Department is setting aside $20 million for deep-water, offshore wind energy development, and Sen. Susan Collins says the money could be headed to the University of Maine.

The Maine Republican invited Energy Secretary Steven Chu to UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center in Orono about two weeks ago.

The government has provided funding to the center and its partners to aid Maine’s efforts to aggressively pursue wind power development and green jobs. Collins says the center is well-positioned to win the new funding.

Collins said that if Maine is awarded the entire $20 million, it would be the largest non-defense federal investment in the state.

Maine voters this spring approved an $11 million bond proposal for wind technology.

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