Gov. Janet Mills recently proposed a series of actions to advance the nation’s first floating offshore wind research array in federal waters and to protect Maine’s more heavily fished state waters.

In a letter to Maine’s commercial fishermen, Mills announced that she will propose a 10-year moratorium on new offshore wind projects in waters managed by the state. The administration is seeking comment from fishermen and marine industries about siting the proposed research array.

The actions seek to protect fishing and recreational opportunities within the three miles of coastal waters managed by the state, which are more heavily fished than federal waters, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future.

As envisioned, the research array would use floating offshore wind technology developed over the past decade by the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. Last summer, the University announced a $100 million partnership with two offshore wind energy companies, Diamond and RWE Renewables, to develop its emerging technology through a new company called New England Aqua Ventus.

The moratorium would not apply to a single-turbine demonstration project by New England Aqua Ventus, which has been permitted for state waters near Monhegan.

No decision has yet been made on a site for the research array, which is expected to cover 16 square miles of ocean or less and contain no more than 12 turbines. The array is proposed for an area in the Gulf of Maine that would allow it to connect to the energy grid in southern Maine. The most likely locations for that connection have been determined to be either Wyman Station in Yarmouth or Maine Yankee in Wiscasset.

As the first floating offshore wind research array in the U.S., it would be used to study how the technology interacts with the marine environment and fishing industry and how it performs generating energy and sending it to the mainland grid. Permitting and construction of the floating array is expected to take up to five years, in advance of a research period of roughly 20 years. After this period, the array would be decommissioned.

With some of the highest sustained offshore wind speeds in the world, the federally managed waters of the Gulf of Maine have long been considered a likely destination for commercial-scale wind projects.

In addition to the research array, the state has also received a $2.16 million federal grant to develop a “roadmap” for offshore wind that will analyze all facets of the industry.Work on the roadmap will begin later this year.

A study of port opportunities in Searsport, as a potential central hub for the offshore wind industry — which would include the transportation, assembly and possibly fabrication of floating turbines — is also under way through the Maine Department of Transportation.

Maine remains a participant in the Gulf of Maine Task Force, a regional planning effort with Massachusetts and New Hampshire through the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, to evaluate commercial-scale offshore wind projects in the Gulf.

In December, Maine entered into an agreement with the government of the United Kingdom to share information and resources about the development of offshore wind.