UMaine to host international offshore wind conference Sept. 12–13 in Portland and virtually

The University of Maine Advanced Structures and Composites Center (ASCC) will welcome industry leaders from around the world for the American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit (AFloat) in the wake of President Joe Biden’s attention on floating wind in the Gulf of Maine. The ASCC will host the 2022 AFloat Conference from Sept. 12–13 at the Westin Harborview in Portland, Maine, with a virtual option for remote attendees.

AFloat will bring together developers, policymakers, financiers, academics and other stakeholders to discuss the future of floating offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine and globally. 

The conference will address the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Request for Interest and a Request for Competitive Interest for offshore wind development in the Gulf of Maine, which were published Aug. 18, 2022. 

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said that the announcement “represents one of the many milestones that this Administration has achieved to advance offshore wind development, create good-paying jobs and lower consumer energy costs while collaborating with our government partners.”

The conference will feature presentations from University of Maine President Joan Ferrini-Mundy; Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King; and Gov. Janet Mills. 

Other speakers and sessions at the conference include:

  • “Preparing the U.S. for Floating Wind” by Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, offshore wind energy lead for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • “Floating Offshore Wind Status in the U.S. and the World Status of floating offshore wind globally including technology advances and market outlook” by Walt Musial, offshore wind leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • “Floating Developers Forum” moderated by Habib Dagher, founding executive director of the ASCC and lead of the Aqua Ventus project
  • “Design Codes and Standards for Floating Wind” moderated by Lars Samuelsson, manager, Global Offshore Renewables at American Bureau of Shipping (ABS)
  • “What’s Next in Leasing and Policy Activities for U.S. Floating Wind” panel moderated by James Bennett, chief of the BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs
  • “Financing U.S. Floating Wind Projects” moderated by Randy Male, director of the Boston office of Green Giraffe
  • “Emerging Research and Innovation Opportunities: ARPA-E ATLANTIS Program Update: Lessons Learned in Phase I and Phase II” moderator by Michael Olson, technology-to-market advisor at the Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E)
  • “Research Needs: Technology and Infrastructure” moderated by Nathan McKenzie, technology manager for offshore wind R&D at the U.S. DOE
  • “Scaling-up Challenges: Ports, Assembly and Installation Requirements” moderated by Dan Kennedy, senior project manager — offshore wind at Diamond Generating Corporation

For information and to register, visit the AFloat 2022 conference website. Discounted rates are available for University of Maine students, researchers and employees looking to attend in person.