Offshore Wind Resource, Cost, and Economic Potential in the State of Maine

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report provides information for decision-makers about floating offshore wind technologies in the state of Maine. It summarizes research efforts performed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory between 2015 and 2017 to analyze the resource potential, cost of offshore wind, and economic potential of offshore wind from four primary reports: Musial et al. (2016); Beiter et al. (2016, 2017); and Mone et al. (unpublished). From Musial et al. (2016), Maine's technical offshore wind resource potential ranked seventh in the nation overall with more than 411 terawatt-hours/year of offshore resource generating potential. Although 90% of this wind resource is greater than 9.0-meters-per-second average velocity, most of the resource is over deep water, where floating wind technology is needed. Levelized cost of energy and levelized avoided cost of energy were computed to estimate the unsubsidized 'economic potential' for Maine in the year 2027 (Beiter et al. 2016, 2017). The studies found that Maine may have 65 gigawatts of economic potential by 2027, the highest of any U.S. state. Bottom-line costs for the Aqua Ventus project, which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Technology Demonstration project, were released from a proprietary report written by NREL in 2016 for the University of Maine (Mone et al. unpublished). The report findings were that economies of scale and new technology advancements lowered the cost from $300/megawatt-hour (MWh) for the two-turbine 12-megawatt (MW) Aqua Ventus 1 project, to $126/MWh for the commercial-scale, 498-MW Aqua Ventus-2 project. Further cost reductions to $77/MWh were found when new technology advancements were applied for the 1,000-MW Aqua Ventus-3 project in 2030. No new analysis was conducted for this report.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-70907


  • economics of offshore wind
  • Maine
  • offshore wind energy
  • resource potential


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