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Summary:

There aren’t any turbines in the water yet, but Bluewater Wind is on its way to building what will likely be America’s first offshore wind farm. The wind energy developer signed a contract yesterday to provide 200 megawatts of offshore wind power to Delaware utility Delmarva […]

There aren’t any turbines in the water yet, but Bluewater Wind is on its way to building what will likely be America’s first offshore wind farm. The wind energy developer signed a contract yesterday to provide 200 megawatts of offshore wind power to Delaware utility Delmarva Power. The wind farm is scheduled to start producing power by 2012 but is still subject to regulatory approval. The farm, sited off the coast of Rehoboth Beach, Del., will have 150 turbines and an energy capacity of over 400 megawatts. All told, the project is estimated to cost $1.6 billion.

Offshore wind has had a tough row to hoe in America. NIMBY activists have thwarted numerous efforts to develop offshore wind farms, most successfully off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., where the Cape Wind project still languishes. This Delaware offshore wind farm also faced a lot of opposition, including flak from Delmarva, which had said the power produced by the turbines would be too expensive. But with a customer now contractually lined up, development of America’s first offshore wind farm should be able to proceed.

Delaware has a renewable portfolio standard that requires utilities to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2019. Once up and running, Bluewater Wind will be able to sell any power over 200 megawatts to other utilities also looking to meet Delaware’s energy goals.

Utilities all over are scrambling to secure contracts for clean energy to meet states’ renewable portfolio standards. In California PG&E is looking to finance its own solar plants because there is far more demand for renewable energy than supply. Long-term contracts like the Delmarva’s 25-year wind agreement are attractive to utilities financially because, amid rising and volatile fossil fuel prices, they provide a long-term source of secure energy at a flat rate.

And for your Tuesday viewing pleasure here’s the Daily Show’s coverage of the Cape Wind debacle.

Photo courtesy of Bluewater Wind.

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By Craig Rubens

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  1. johnny lasmono Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    I really interested with all matters concern alternative energy and plastics. Please send me more details about them. I live in Indonesia which sun energy is plenty. Farming activities produce non-crop materials for biodegradable plastics. Indonesia also in strong moves to recover forest destructions and to take more attention to forest exploitation regulations.

  2. NY Pulls Plug on $1.5B Clean Coal Plant « Earth2Tech Thursday, July 17, 2008

    [...] for a clean coal plant. Last year, a court ordered Delaware utility Delmarva to buy power from Bluewater Wind’s offshore wind farm instead of from a 600MW clean coal plant NRG had proposed to build at its Indian River [...]

  3. Deepwater Utility Group Wins New Jersey Offshore Wind Bid « Earth2Tech Friday, October 3, 2008

    [...] Babcock & Brown, is already developing an offshore wind farm farther south. In June the company signed a 200-megawatt power purchase agreement with Delaware utility Delmarva for offshore wind energy to be built at the mouth of the Delaware [...]

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