Exploring Maine’s potential for offshore wind energy

Talk at Strand Theatre

Aug 01, 2011

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(Photo by: Peter Ralston)

Rockland — On Thursday, Aug. 11 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St. in Rockland, the Island Institute will present “On the Horizon”, a free, in-depth look at the potential for offshore wind-energy development in the Gulf of Maine. A highlight of the evening will be the Maine premiere of “Islands in the Wind,” Compass Light Production’s documentary about the Fox Islands Wind project completed on Vinalhaven Island in 2009.

“Islands in the Wind” chronicles the efforts of year-round residents on North Haven and Vinalhaven islands to battle skyrocketing energy prices through the completion of a community wind-power project. Along the way, they meet unexpected obstacles, find community bonds tested and discover unanticipated opportunities.

Following the 23-minute film, Heather Deese, the Institute’s vice president of programs, will give a brief overview of the potential for offshore wind-energy development in Maine – highlighted by an excerpt on floating wind-turbine technology from Compass Light Productions’ new film “OceanEnergy Innovators,” co-produced with the World Ocean Observatory. A panel of experts will then offer their perspectives and answers to questions from the audience.

Confirmed panel members include Dr. Habib Dagher, the Bath Iron Works Professor of Structural Engineering at the University of Maine, and the founding director of the AEWC Advanced Structures & Composites Center, a world leader in the development of cost-effective, high-performance hybrid composite materials for construction applications, and recipient of $15 million in funding from the Department of Energy for the development of offshore wind energy off Maine’s coast.

Ted Koffman, the executive director of Maine Audubon, will offer an ecological perspective to the discussion. Koffman  joined Maine Audubon in 2009 after 25 years at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, where he established the statewide Eco-Eco Civic Forum (eco-eco stands for ecology and economics) to engage business, environmental, academic and civic leaders in discussions about the environment and economy in Maine’s future.

Also joining in the discussion will be David Cousens, president of the board of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association, formed in 1954 by lobstermen to empower Maine’s lobster industry by speaking with a united voice, and now the largest commercial fishing industry group on the East Coast, representing the interests of 1,200 lobstermen from Eastport to Kittery.

A reception for the general public to meet the panelists as well as David Conover, Compass Light Productions’ executive producer and director, will be held at the Island Institute, 386 Main St. in Rockland, from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. For more information, please contact Nancy McLeod Carter at ncarter@islandinstitute.org or 594-9209 x133

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