A budget bill that appears headed for final passage in Congress includes $5 million for research and development of offshore wind turbines at the University of Maine in Orono.
The $5 million appropriation is contained in the 2010 energy and water budget bill that already has been approved by the House of Representatives, the Bangor Daily News reports.
Maine's congressional delegation and Gov. John Baldacci have been pushing for federal money for the University of Maine's Offshore Wind Initiative.
The state is considering seven locations off the coast of Maine as sites of deep-water wind power test projects. Those sites include areas off Cutler and Jonesport in Washington County, south of Isle au Haut, and near Matinicus, Monhegan, Damariscove and Boon islands.