Press "Enter" to skip to content

Maine must move ahead with wind power on Sears Island

It feels as if the offshore wind conversation in Maine is never-ending. Every day there is a new proposal and a new problem. The recent proposal making headlines is for an offshore wind port off Sears Island. Lawmakers and community members should do everything in their power to accommodate and expedite the offshore wind project on Sears Island. 

On Feb. 20, the governor’s office made it official: Sears Island was selected as the “preferred site” for the development of an offshore wind port. Despite the controversy, here is why I support the state’s decision.   

There is no perfect place for construction. Sears island is remarkably close to being perfect. Logistically, it works well. The island was originally intended as a port, and its location allows ease of access for contractors. Furthermore, Sears Island has deep water access, making it marketable and feasible for wind power. This location is also the most affordable for the state. The state already owns the land so there would be no costly lease and the site needs limited retrofitting. Overall, the location is close to perfect for Maine’s newest offshore wind port.  

There are two groups of people advocating against this project. The primary group is those advocating for the offshore wind to be built off Mack Point, which is relatively close to Sears Island. The argument is that Mack Point is already developed while Sears Island is undeveloped. I do not think we should build on Mack Point, as it is privately owned, and taxpayers would be putting money into leasing the area for years to come. Not to mention, Mack Point needs severe environmental reconstruction to be feasibly used as a port. The purpose of renewable energy is to set up future generations for success and building on Mack Point would do the opposite. The second group is those who oppose wind power altogether. Wind power is one of the most tried and tested forms of generating energy we have access to.

Originally, the State House rejected legislation that created exceptions for construction on sand dunes. The exception is critical for the success of this project. Thankfully, days before the legislative session ended the house reversed this decision in a 77-65 vote. Legislators must continue to accommodate clean energy projects. Specifically, legislators must continue to promote the port on Sears Island. I predict sand dune protections are not the last obstacle facing this project. 

I love Sears Island and have enjoyed many weekend walks there. I want to enjoy nature walks for years to come. I will not be able to do that if climate change worsens. The long-term health of Maine’s environment is dependent on investment in clean energy. Sacrificing recreational land is an investment in future generations. We must protect the rest of Maine’s environment through sustainable action today.

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...