Advocates say the Port of New Hampshire in Portsmouth could see lots of new business from an offshore wind industry in the region. (Annie Ropeik/NHPR)

Most New England states have been investing in alternative energy sources for years. But New Hampshire has been slower to act in response to climate change.

Now, the Granite State is looking to be a leader in a major new source of renewable energy: offshore wind.

Turnout exceeded all expectations at the first meeting, last month, of a federal task force on wind development in the Gulf of Maine. One state legislator was heard saying the line to get in rivaled the line for the women’s bathroom at Fenway Park.

Governor Chris Sununu welcomed hundreds of people who filled up a huge meeting hall and overflow rooms at UNH.

“Good morning,” he said, to a mild response, then: “Come on! Look what we’re kicking off, this is exciting!”

When it comes to energy reform, Sununu has always focused on minimizing costs to consumers. At the task force meeting, he had a message: the way to get there is with huge amounts of power from high-tech wind turbines floating in the ocean.

“We’re not talking about benchtop models, we’re not talking about theory, we’re not writing papers – we want to build something here,” he said. “Right? We want those electrons to be zipped over back into New England in one way or the other, and we want people to benefit from it.”

This big meeting came just under a year after Sununu asked the Trump administration to open up the possibility of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine.

They formed this task force with stakeholders in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts, to see how wind would work with fisheries, transmission systems, aesthetics and more.

Read the rest of this story at NHPR’s website.