AUGUSTA, ME – A bill to jumpstart a new offshore wind industry for Maine has been signed into law by Governor Mills. LD 1895, An Act Regarding the Procurement of Energy from Offshore Wind Resources, will generate not only a historic investment in affordable and reliable clean energy to power Maine’s homes, businesses, and transportation; but also an investment in the working Mainers needed to make it a reality.
Statement of Kathleen Meil, Senior Director of Policy & Partnerships, MCV:
“Offshore wind is the single biggest lever we can pull to address the climate crisis, meet Maine’s energy needs, and grow our economy simultaneously. This legislation charts a path that reflects a broad coalition of environmental groups, labor advocates, and a key fisheries organization and sets high standards for labor and equity. When this bill is implemented, Maine will set a national example for how to responsibly develop a new, affordable energy source, grow good-paying jobs for our workers, and do so without compromising Maine values. We’re ready to get to work and launch this new industry.”
In June, Governor Mills vetoed LD 1847, the bill to set strong labor standards for offshore wind port facilities, but continued collaboration between the Mills administration, legislators, and advocates led to the legislation signed into law today. It combines two critical initiatives (LD 1895 and LD 1847) to advance a new clean energy industry for Maine by setting a procurement schedule and constructing a port. It will:
Set a procurement schedule for a goal of 3 GW of installed offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine by 2040, supplying affordable, reliable offshore wind to power homes, businesses, and transportation.
Incentivize responsibly developed wind projects that protect wildlife and avoid Lobster Management Area 1, one of Maine’s key fishing grounds.
Set strong and comprehensive labor and workforce development standards for good-paying jobs and ensure inclusive benefits for Maine’s most vulnerable communities.
Support the creation of a world-class, Maine-built offshore wind port that will bring in billions of dollars in economic development.
Help meet Maine’s bipartisan emissions reduction targets and put the state on a path to meeting Governor Mills’ proposed goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.
The bill, as amended, will responsibly develop offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine and encourage new deepwater port construction while maintaining strong standards to ensure good-paying jobs for Maine workers and protections for wildlife, incentivizing the avoidance of important fishing grounds, and fostering broad stakeholder engagement and inclusive community benefits.
BACKGROUND ON LD 1895:
The Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) engaged a wide variety of stakeholders – including representatives from coastal communities, fisheries, business, conservation, clean energy, organized labor, and state government – in a multiyear process to develop the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap.
LD 1895 is the culmination of this work and builds on the Roadmap’s framework of responsible offshore wind development by requiring strong labor protections and fostering inclusive benefits for Maine’s most vulnerable communities.
As amended, the legislation sets a goal and procurement schedule for 3 gigawatts of offshore wind energy installed by 2040, which can be reevaluated and increased periodically by GEO.
GEO will also lead a public stakeholder process that will inform developer plan requirements for stakeholder engagement, economic and community benefits, diversity, equity, and inclusion in employment and contracting, and fisheries and wildlife research, monitoring, and mitigation.
The bill requires a request for comments from each federally recognized tribe in the state and the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission in crafting these plans. It will enact top recommendations from the Roadmap, including establishing strong standards for wildlife, fisheries, and environmental monitoring and mitigation.
Additionally, the bill includes a provision negotiated with lobstering groups to avoid conflicts within Lobster Management Area 1, a key fishing ground.
The amended legislation includes critical components of LD 1847 to ensure that a Maine offshore wind port is built with the same strong labor standards, that host communities benefit and that Maine workers are prioritized. An additional component in the amendment from LD 1847, which received bipartisan support in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, creates a framework for fairly and expeditiously permitting offshore wind port infrastructure.