DELAWARE A STEP CLOSER TO FIRST U.S. OFFSHORE WIND
Could this announcement of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between a Delaware utility and a company that wants to build a wind installation off the Delaware coast herald a new era in U.S. wind energy?
European nations are aggressively competing for richly productive, highly sought after and scarce offshore wind turbines. They are building installations off any North Sea coast where they can muster the hardware to do so. Meanwhile, U.S. states are succumbing to the most trivial of NIMBY impulses and squandering huge opportunities to develop powerful offshore assets just when electricity is becoming troublingly expensive and the country needs clean energy production most.
Eventually, U.S. leaders will realize how misguided they have been. Offshore wind is one of the surest bets in all of energy. Many states, especially along the East Coast, have nothing in the way of insolation, onshore wind or even coal reserves to match the power of the ocean winds. Does it really make sense to let GIGAWATTS of free energy blow away just because a few shortsighted people are attached to their sea view?
The European experience shows that the few recalcitrants sooner or later come to appreciate the elegant grace of the towering, distant turbines when they see them through unpolluted air and when they see how beautiful their reduced power bills look.
Laurie Jodziewicz, offshore wind authority, American Wind Energy Association: "For many states, offshore wind will be one of the few near-term opportunities to generate large-scale renewable energy…"
For extensive, detailed info, see the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies Offshore Wind Power website.
LOOK AT ALL THAT ENERGY GOING TO WASTE! (click to enlarge)
Plans advance for first U.S. offshore wind farm
Jon Hurdle (w/Christian Wiessner), June 23, 2008 (Reuters)
Court Rules In Favor Of Cape Wind
June 24, 2008 (North American Windpower)
Delmarva Power; Bluewater Wind Delaware LLC (Jim Lanard, spokesman), a unit of Babcock & Brown North America (Hunter Armistad, head);
Delmarva Power moved the plan to build the first U.S. offshore wind installation forward by signing a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for half of the installation’s generated electricity.
U.S. Offshore Wind: Lots of plans, lots of regulatory resistance and NIMBY-ism, no building. Is that finally about to change? (click to enlarge)
- The PPA covers the first 25 years of the installation’s output.
- The installation is now planned to be built in the 2011-2012 period and begin operation in the 2012-2013 period.
- 2006 to 2007: U.S. wind energy supplies grew 45%.
- 2007: More than 1/3 of all new U.S. power generation was wind.
- The offshore installation is planned for 11 miles off the Delaware coast.
- Denmark, which leads the world in offshore wind development, gets 20% of its electricity from wind energy.
- The planned installation will consist of 60 turbines and have a 400-megawatt capacity. Cost is expected to be in the $1.0 billion to $1.5 billion range, depending on final capacity rating.
- The installation still requires legislative as well as state and federal regulatory approval.
- An offshore installation in Massachusetts has been delayed by complaints about interference with Cape Cod aesthetics.
- An offshore installation in Texas’ Gulf has been delayed by complaints by the fishing industry.
- The U.S. presently gets almost 2% of its electricity from wind energy but countries in Europe get 5%, 10% or more by incorporating stronger, more constant offshore winds.
click to enlarge
- Hunter Armistad, head, Babcock & Brown North America: "Babcock & Brown believes this contract is a significant step toward developing Delaware's first offshore wind farm, which will almost certainly be the first offshore wind farm in the country…"
- Jim Gordon, President, Cape Wind: "The court rejected the opponents' primary argument and agreed that Massachusetts agency review was proper…We look forward to providing the public with the benefits of Cape Wind, including cleaner air, more stable energy prices, new jobs and greater energy independence, as soon as possible."