By Associated Press - Monday, March 22, 2021

BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine (AP) - Maine lobstermen say a seabed survey to determine suitability for a 23-mile underwater cable for a wind turbine project is disrupting their operations by cutting lines and disturbing buoys.

More than 80 lobster boats lined up between Monhegan Island and Boothbay Harbor on Sunday to protest the survey. They traveled the length of the survey area that’s being studied for the potential impact of a cable.

“Fishermen feel like their voices aren’t really being heard. We’re not in favor of industrializing the Gulf of Maine with wind turbines,” Dustin Delano, a lobsterman from Friendship who helped organize the protest, told the Portland Press Herald. “I don’t really want to be the guinea pig,” he added.

The Maine Marine Patrol and Coast Guard monitored the demonstration.

The Aqua Ventus project was spearheaded by the University of Maine. Construction is set to begin 2022, with the turbines coming online in 2023.

The project has received more than $150 million from the U.S. Department of Energy and from Diamond Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corp., and RWE Renewables, an international wind company.

In 2014, the partners built a one-eighth-scale model off Castine. Regulators delayed approval of a contract for electricity produced by the project; the so-called rate sheet was approved in 2019.

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