PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A scale model of an offshore wind turbine prototype is performing up to expectations and is withstanding the winter weather. Habib Dagher, the head of the University of Maine’s advanced composites center said Thursday at the University of Southern Maine that the performance of the 65-foot-tall turbine in the winter storms of November and December has proven that the full-scale model should be able to handle Mother Nature. The turbine was deployed last summer off the coast near Castine. Eventually, the university wants to build two larger units to be deployed 2.5 miles offshore Monhegan Island. The Public Utilities Commission gave initial approval to the project Tuesday. Maine Aqua Ventus officials have estimated that the project could create 340 full- and part-time jobs during the three years of planning and construction.