New England Aqua Ventus (NEAV) is beginning to investigate potential routes on land for the interconnecting cable as part of the state and federal permitting processes for the offshore wind demonstration project currently under development. NEAV is partnering with the University of Maine on the offshore wind demonstration project near Monhegan that will utilize floating platform technology developed by the university.
The single wind turbine will connect to Maine's electric grid via a low voltage cable that will run underground in existing utility corridors from the shores of the Damariscotta River in East Boothbay to the existing CMP substation on Ocean Point Road. The power will serve Maine consumers, and given the way electricity works, it will likely primarily power homes and businesses in the Boothbay region. Work has begun to investigate the best path for the cable and it will continue over the next couple of weeks. Details include:
• Westbrook-based SGC Engineering is in Boothbay to survey potential routes this week, much like any other surveying work seen on Maine roadsides.
• Later this week a Ransom Engineering crew out of Portland will be on a truck drilling some small holes along the proposed routes to test the soil to find an optimal route and ensure a safe cable burial with minimal disruption. This work should cause little, if any, disruption to traffic.
• It is anticipated that the cable burial will be substantially less intrusive than sewer installation work in past years. This current survey work will clarify exactly how the cable will be installed and inform the permit applications that will eventually be filed with regulators.
• Details on the proposed routes are available on the U.S. Department of Energy’s website as part of the demonstration project's ongoing National Environmental Policy Act permitting review: https://www.energy.gov/sites/default/files/2021-05/EA-2049-Project-Description-2021.pdf
• Cable installation would likely occur more than two years from now, in the offseason. As the installation nears, and the survey results clarify installation methods, NEAV will reach out to communities to let people know what is happening and hear from folks on lessons learned from past utility work and any other concerns.
• For additional information or to get in touch with NEAV, go to https://newenglandaquaventus.com