AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — State energy regulators are scheduled to consider a proposal to develop a $120 million wind turbine demonstration project off Maine's coast.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to deliberate Thursday on the 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.

The development, called Hywind Maine, has been proposed by Norwegian energy giant Statoil.

A spokeswoman for Statoil told The Portland Press Herald that state approval is critical. Without it, the company may shift focus to Japan or Europe.

Power from the project could be flowing by 2016.

The critical issues for the commission are the cost of that power and the project's economic benefits for Maine.

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