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UK, Maine Ink Partnership To Develop Renewable Energy

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press file
The University of Maine's Aqua Ventus offshore wind turbine in Sept. 2013.

The United Kingdom and the state of Maine see a joint future in the development of offshore wind and other renewable energy sources.

The two governments this week signed a “memorandum of understanding” to create a formal partnership to share expertise on how to develop clean energy on either side of the Atlantic.

“Over the course of the next few years, we will have this formal relationship with Maine that will bring us back every time to thinking about how we can enhance cooperation, into thinking about how to share clean-energy technologies, particularly on offshore wind but not exclusively, and how we can both help each other to achieve this commitment to carbon neutrality that we have by the middle of the century or sooner,” says Peter Abbot is the British Consul General to New England.

UK developers have been fielding offshore wind platforms for two decades. Those include two small projects featuring floating platforms that are needed in deep waters such as those off Scotland — and Maine, for that matter. Gov. Janet Mills traveled to Scotland last year. Last month she announced plans to seek federal approval for a larger, experimental floating wind turbine project off southern Maine, in a partnership between the University of Maine and private developers, called Aqua Ventus.

The bilateral Maine-UK collaboration will also include shared research and development on tidal energy technology, and the role that hydrogen gas can play in a clean energy future.

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.