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A plan to put wind turbines off the coast of Maine has key approval from utility regulators, largely clearing the way for development of a floating wind farm 12 miles from shore.
The state Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 Thursday in favor of a proposal to put four, three-megawatt wind turbines on floating spar-buoy structures tethered to the seabed in 460 feet of water off Boothbay Harbor.
Norwegian energy giant Statoil is behind the Hywind Maine project. The generators could be up and running by 2016.
Other projects are in development off other states' coasts.
Gov. Paul LePage opposed the project, saying it wouldn't provide enough economic benefit to justify the cost to customers. The commission disagreed, saying it would boost Maine businesses.