BANGOR, Maine — U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King announced Wednesday that the University of Maine — along with partners Maine Maritime Academy, Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory — have been awarded a $983,997 grant from the National Science Foundation.
The funds will be used to design, develop and build a unique, multidirectional Wind-Wave generating system called W2, Collins and King said in a joint statement.
Once completed, they said, W2 will be able to simulate wave and wind conditions similar to those found in the Gulf of Maine and elsewhere. By better understanding the effects of waves and wind shears that are typical in the often inhospitable ocean environment, researchers will be able to develop new methods of capturing renewable energy.
In addition, the system will permit scientists to optimize the performance of existing renewable energy devices and provide guidance in the construction of future offshore and coastal infrastructure.
“Researchers at the University of Maine and their world-class partners have demonstrated ingenuity in seeking new ways to capture Maine’s abundant supply of offshore deepwater wind energy through the launch of the nation’s first grid-connected offshore floating wind turbine prototype in May,” Collins and King said.
“The construction of the Wind-Wave generating system will provide students and scientists with invaluable information regarding the ocean’s interaction with offshore infrastructure as they seek to build on their already considerable achievements,” the senators said.