Maine has signed a memorandum of understanding with the United Kingdom designed to enhance cooperation between the two governments “to pursue ambitious advancement in clean energy technologies and mutually achieve carbon neutrality by mid-century or sooner.”

The memorandum, announced Thursday by Gov. Janet Mills and Kwasi Kwarteng, minister of state at the U.K.’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, places a heavy focus on offshore wind power generation, in which the U.K. is an international leader while Maine is working on ambitious plans of its own.

“The United Kingdom is showing how bold policy goals to create a vibrant, diversified clean energy industry can combat climate change and generate economic growth,” Mills said in a statement. “With this (memorandum), Maine is continuing to lead in the development of clean energy. By working with our colleagues in the UK to develop these industries, Maine can achieve its energy goals, create jobs, and preserve and protect our state for future generations as we fight climate change.”

The accord is focused primarily on information exchange and does not involve any joint development projects or other capital investments. Specifically, it commits Maine and the U.K. to collaborate and share resources to reduce emissions from heating and transportation, and to advance innovative offshore wind and green hydrogen technology. It also calls for cooperation on evaluating impacts of offshore wind on fisheries and the marine environment, workforce development and port infrastructure.

Kwarteng said the agreement will benefit both countries’ climate stabilization efforts.

“The UK has led the way globally in using offshore wind to reduce emissions and we are pleased to be working with Governor Mills and her team to share our experience,” he said in a statement. “This fantastic partnership with Maine will help both the United States and the UK take another step towards our critical climate change goals.”

In November, Mills announced that Maine will create the nation’s first floating offshore wind farm dedicated to research. The project would include as many as a dozen turbines floating 20 to 40 miles offshore in the Gulf of Maine. The turbines would send power to the mainland electric grid in the southern half of the state, according to the announcement.

But the primary purpose of the project would be research, with a goal of working with the fishing industry to develop the technology in a sustainable way, the governor said.


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