CASTINE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There's a new first for wind power. The state of Maine is now getting electricity from an offshore floating wind turbine. It's the first time this has been accomplished in the U.S. Thursday, members of the media were invited aboard a Maine Maritime Academy Vessel to watch as they flipped the switch on the Volturnus Floating Wind Turbine, which is moored in Castine Harbor. Volturnus is a one eighth scale model of the 600 feet tall wind turbines that developers would eventually like to put in the Gulf of Maine. Representatives from some of the key partners in this project, including Dr. Habib Dagher from Umaine's Offshore Wind Laboratory, Peter Vigue from Cianbro Corporation, and President Bill Brennan of Maine Maritime Academy held a brief ceremony before giving the order to fire up the turbine.
"It's the first steps of a lot of steps forward but it's an important step. I think of this almost as when the Wright brothers flew the first little plane and it really took off it took off it really worked and we're no different right now with this industry we're flying our first plane if you wish and we're just barely taking off right now," explained Dr. Dagher.
If all goes well with this test project, the plan is to build and launch two full scale 6 megawatt wind turbines off Monhegan Island in 2016.