AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill designed to provide for the development of offshore wind power projects in Maine.

The Republican governor signed the bill, L.D. 1472, into law on Friday.

It will require Maine’s Public Utilities Commission to conduct a second round of competitive bidding for offshore wind projects.

That will allow the University of Maine to compete in the process, which is something LePage wanted.

Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond has criticized the provision. He says opening up the bidding process will jeopardize an agreement between the state and Norwegian company Statoil to build four, three-megawatt wind turbines off Maine’s Boothbay Harbor.

LePage says he would prefer to consider the economic opportunity to Maine’s university system before moving forward with a contract with a foreign company.