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UMaine gets $4m wind power grant

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The Department of Energy is awarding up to $4 million apiece to the University of Maine and to the US subsidiary of a Norwegian oil and gas company to deploy floating wind turbines off the Maine coast. The grants could qualify Maine for millions more in federal funding. US Representative Mike Michaud said the money will ‘‘will create jobs and make us more energy independent.’’ US Representative Chellie Pingree said that only seven out of 70 grant applications were awarded. UMaine aims to deploy two floating turbines supported by a concrete platform. Statoil North America Inc. plans to have turbines supported by a buoy system. Senator Olympia Snowe said Wednesday that she is confident that offshore wind ‘‘will one day be a commercially viable technology that could revolutionize clean energy and energy costs.’’

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