Maine could be the proving ground of a significant new renewable powerhouse for the Northeast, as scientists and builders use composites and robotics in hopes of harnessing wind and wave power.
Cianbro Corp., Pittsfield, Maine, is constructing a new $30-million Offshore Wind Laboratory, scheduled for completion in June. It has 4-ft-thick test floors with a waterproof blade-tip pit, 30 ft wide x 75 ft long x 16 ft deep, to be used as a wave basin for testing models of floating wind turbines. “It’s challenging keeping up with constantly evolving equipment technology,” says Ed Jones, Cianbro project manager. “We’re designing a facility for testing 70-foot wind blades that don’t exist yet.”