WindFloat Maine LLC of Camden was one of two companies to receive development awards from the Maine Technology Institute earlier this month. WindFloat is a subsidiary of Seattle-based Principle Power Inc., a member of DeepCwind, the University of Maine-led consortium of private and nonprofit companies working on deepwater off-shore floating wind technology.

According to a press release from UMaine’s AEWC Advanced Structures and Composites Center, the $500,000 grant will be used to help fund the development of a floating foundation for deepwater offshore wind turbines. A video animated rendering of WindFloat’s fabrication, installation and operation can be found at Principle Power’s website.

WindFloat will match the grant with an equal amount. According to the website at principlepowerinc.com, Principle Power is a technology developer focused on the offshore wind energy market in depths greater than 50 meters, or about 164 feet. WindFloat would provide for siting of offshore wind turbines independent of water depth, thus exploiting the world’s highest capacity wind resources.

“Historically in the U.S. and worldwide, wind energy’s greatest barriers have been visual impact and transmission of energy to load centers,” Principle Power’s website states. “The WindFloat circumvents these historical barriers with an innovative and economic approach.”

A second grant, totaling $398,826, was given to Abierto Networks LLC of Eliot for its Digital Marketing Platform. Abierto is an integrator and technology solutions provider to the convenience store industry. The MTI award is being matched by a $649,064 investment.

According to the website at mainetechnology.org, the taxpayer-funded Maine Technology Institute is “an industry-led non-profit corporation that offers early-stage capital and commercialization assistance in the form of competitive grants, loans and equity investment for the research, development and application of technologies that create new products, processes and services, generating high-quality jobs across Maine.”

The Herald Gazette Reporter Shlomit Auciello can be reached at 207-236-8511 or by e-mail at sauciello@villagesoup.com.

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