AUGUSTA — The Mills administration submitted an application to the federal government on Friday to lease about 15 square miles for a floating offshore wind research area.

Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, has touted the project as the nation’s first such site in federal waters and a chance to chart a new course for renewable energy.

Maine wants to deploy a dozen or so wind turbines on floating hulls designed by the University of Maine.

The research site would be located almost 30 miles offshore. The Governor’s Energy Office submitted its application to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

The project “will help establish the best way for our state to embrace the vast economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind,” Mills said.

Members of the state’s fishing industry have pushed back at plans for offshore wind off Maine. In response, Mills signed off on a prohibition of offshore wind projects in state waters in July.

 

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