To demonstrate what the Advanced Structures and Composites Center's new lab will do to wind blades, Larry Parent, an engineer at the University of Maine, takes out his bifocals and begins bending them. The 230-foot-long fiberglass composite blades will suffer greater strain; most will be bent until they begin to break. The Offshore Wind Laboratory is busting blades to design the toughest ones possible, capable of handling the extreme weather conditions 20 miles off the coast, in the Gulf of Maine. Habib Dagher, the facility's director, says that the Gulf is the future of offshore energy in the U.S.—it opens up to the stormy North Atlantic Ocean and endures consistent class-7 winds (20 to 26 mph). Wind turbines there could generate more energy than those inland, in the wind corridor between Kansas and Texas. The Gulf, Dagher says, is "the Saudi Arabia of wind power."