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The Clean Energy Future Is Roiling Both Friends and Foes

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A student at the University of Maine, Connor DuPuy, worked on a prototype wind turbine in a wave pool.

If there is anywhere in the country primed to welcome the clean energy transition, it is Penobscot Bay in Maine. Electricity prices there are high and volatile. The ocean waters are warming fast, threatening the lobster fishery. Miles offshore, winds blow strong enough to heat every home and power every car in the state.

For more than 15 years, researchers at the University of Maine have been honing scale models of floating wind turbines inspired by oil rigs. They are now confident they can mass-produce turbine blades the length of football fields and float them miles into the ocean. It is the kind of breakthrough in clean energy technology that is allowing a much faster transition to renewables than many…

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