Sprague Energy Unveils Alternative, Lower-Impact Plan for Floating Offshore Wind at Its Mack Point Terminal in Maine

Harnessing Existing Infrastructure, Sequestering Tons of Carbon Per Year and Protecting 100 Acres of Undisturbed Natural Habitat on and off Sears Island

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., June 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Sprague Operating Resources LLC, one of the Northeast’s largest suppliers of energy products and material handling services, today released the details of its alternate plan for supporting Maine’s offshore wind initiative from its Mack Point terminal, located in Searsport. The new alternative, lower impact plan was developed in the summer of 2023 with a marine engineering firm and provides several compelling advantages over both the original Mack Point and Sears Island plans proposed by the State’s engineering contractor (Moffat & Nichol).

“The Sprague Energy Mack Point Terminal alternative preserves all of our current operations and minimizes dredging and wetland impact while leveraging a facility with over 20 years of wind component handling experience,” said James Therriault, vice president of materials handling at Sprague. “Our Mack Point terminal has been operating in Maine since 1905. By reimagining this industrial site, we can play an integral role in achieving Maine’s offshore wind energy generation goals.”

Therriault continued, “Sprague believes it’s in the best interests of Mainers to urge the State to fully analyze the costs, timings and impacts of Sprague’s alternative design. We believe this alternative achieves the goal of minimizing impacts on natural and working lands, while reducing overall cost and providing all the same operational and vessel functionality.”

Sprague’s Mack Point Terminal proposal delivers multiple advantages presented in the plan’s renderings, including:

  • 100 acres segregated from all current activities with its own dedicated entrance.
  • Dedicated Vessel Component Receipt Dock: Already dredged to 35 feet of Mean Low Water (MLW).
  • Dedicated Base Launching Dock: Allowing the use of a semi-submersible barge or Tug Dock device.
  • Dedicated Base Assembly Area: Out of the flow of the rest of the facility.
  • Dedicated Fit-Up Dock for Wind Energy Component Assembly: Separated from the launch dock, decreasing conflicts when lifting blades; allows for use of large assembly cranes to move ultra-heavy components.
  • Greatly Increased Docking Space: More total dock face than the current Sears Island design with 1,600 feet dedicated to large vessels and foundations, while providing an additional 1,000 feet for small work boats and tugs.
  • A Second Large Vessel Dock: For Sprague’s current bulk and liquid operations while also doubling as an additional backup component receipt dock for components using a self-propelled motor transporter.
  • A Designated Support Services Area: An area away from the workflow for employee parking, warehousing of critical supplies, and administrative offices and work trailers.
  • An Additional 10-acre Full-Function Rail Yard: Already existing rail yard and lines throughout the terminal. Rail system has recently undergone a $2 million renovation allowing for the delivery of domestically sourced components and supplies, while not interfering with other wind handling activities.
  • Ready to Adjust to Wind Energy while Preserving Current Capacity: Sprague will relocate current terminal activity to accommodate offshore wind development with no decrease in capability.
  • Construction Time and Costs Reduced: Sprague’s total cost is expected to be less than either Moffat & Nichols plan, and, its already industrial nature creates less risk of delays in permitting.

“Building a wind port on Sears Island means more than 75 acres of upland forest will be cleared, graded, and compacted. It also means filling 25 acres of pristine Penobscot Bay to extend the shoreline where a previously protected ocean sand dune is located,” said Rolf E. Olsen, vice president of Friends of Sears Island, a volunteer nonprofit organization that manages the conservation area on behalf of the people of Maine and supports the idea of a wind port in Searsport.

Olsen continued, “That estimate by the State does not include the additional impact from a new and greatly expanded approach road and rail bed to get to the facility. This seriously damages the island’s ecological, recreational, and economic value. Re-developing Mack Point – which has thrived as an industrial site for more than a century – is a far better and less disruptive decision, and the State has previously stated that it meets the requirements for the port.”

On April 24, the Maine DOT issued a request for information seeking public input on Maine’s commercial offshore wind solicitation approach and implementation. Public opinions should be emailed to geo@maine.gov before the June 21st deadline. More information is available on the Maine.gov website.

Sprague’s Mack Point Terminal proposal.

Sprague Energy is hosting tours of its Mack Point Terminal on Tuesday, June 11 for members of the community 8:45 AM and 1:45 PM, and at 10:30 AM for the press. For more information, visit https://www.spragueenergy.com/mack-point/.


Founded in 1870, Sprague Operating Resources has a rich, 150-year history of delivering innovative energy solutions and material handling services to meet the ever-evolving needs of its commercial, industrial, and government customers across the Northeast and Quebec. Offering a diverse portfolio of products and services – including fuel storage, fuel delivery, electricity, material handling, material storage, natural gas and solar – Sprague is committed to providing cleaner and more sustainable energy options that drive progress and reduce environmental impact. Sprague has innovated with low carbon, sustainable fuels, industry-first liquid tank top solar applications, and serves as one of the largest land-based wind component material handling companies in New England. Sprague is a company strategically aiming to achieve environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals and principles by taking measures to lower pollution, CO2 output, and reduce waste, along with nurturing a diverse and inclusive workforce. Learn more https://www.spragueenergy.com/.

Media Contacts:
Laura Hall, (917-544-6344)
Chris Goddard, (781-640-8387)

SOURCE Sprague Operating Resources LLC