ORONO — The University of Maine will receive more than $2.8 million to use a 3-D printer to manufacture wind turbine blades, Maine’s senators said.

The grant is from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and it represents an investment in “cutting-edge research that helps to support our forest products industry, create good-paying jobs, and strengthen our clean energy economy,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins and independent Sen. Angus King said.

The grant can help advance new manufacturing research at UMaine, the senators said.

UMaine Advanced Structures and Composites Center executive director Habib Dagher said the blades can be developed faster and at less cost by combining innovative manufacturing with recycled materials.

The announcement came as the state is partnering with industry to work toward the creation of the first floating offshore wind research farm in U.S. history.

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