Additional Participants

Organizational Partner


Maine Maritime Academy



Project Period

August 2009-December 2012

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



This Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) project--a Type III (A:C) partnership between the University of Maine (UMaine), an NSF PFI graduated grantee (0125343), and Maine Maritime Academy, an institution new to the PFI Program (defined as one that has never been a PFI grantee) and, in this case, new to NSF as well seeks to enable the acceleration of the development of Maine's deepwater offshore wind energy resource by employing an innovation model that will draw upon knowledge and technology from diverse sources. The proposed research addresses the development of key knowledge, experimentally-validated numerical models for combined aerolastic/hydrodynamic loadings; and an enabling technology, Rapid-Formed Composite Structures (RFCS). Neither the knowledge nor the technology currently exists for deepwater offshore wind turbines and both are critical to the development of offshore wind energy. The University of Maine brings to the partnership RFCS technology, which eliminates and will significantly reduce, platform construction and deployment costs.
The project addresses the energy crisis facing Maine and the US which requires new strategies and innovations. Working with floating platform developers and composites manufacturers, platforms for offshore floating turbines will be developed by the Advanced Structures and Composites Center (newly renamed in response to the evolution of its research mission) at the University of Maine. Thus, this project presents an opportunity to progress toward the goal of delivering installed wind power capacity at a cost that is competitive with existing technology. Floating offshore wind platform technology offers the following benefits: 1) reduction of reliance on foreign energy sources, (2) development of a renewable, carbon-free energy, and 3) creation of domestic manufacturing and service jobs focused on offshore wind energy.

Partners at the inception of the project are Academic Institutions: University of Maine (lead institution) and Maine Maritime Academy; Federal Laboratory: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); Private Sector Organizations: Cianbro Corporation and Maine Composites Alliance; and State Organizations: Governor?s Ocean Energy Task Force and Maine Technology Institute (MTI).

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