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Winds blowing stronger on the coast?

October 2nd, 2007 · No Comments

From my perspective, the heavily funded NIMBY effort delaying the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts has been having an impact contributing stalling offshore wind projects around the United States.  News item after news item, whether from Texas or New York or …, has promised the first offshore wind project.  Even though so many of these are not panning out or keep moving to the right like Cape Wind, my heart still races with hope when optimistic news emerges. Today, it is Delaware that is looking like it might slip into first place for a commercial offshore wind farm for the US electrical grid.

As per Green Car Congress reporting, 

Babcock and Brown is buying Bluewater Wind, the the developer of a proposed 150-turbine, 450MW wind farm to be located 11 miles off the coast of Delaware.

The acquisition by Babcock & Brown addresses the last major hurdle in the effort to finance and build Delaware Offshore Wind Park—potentially the first major offshore wind park in the US—which is how the $1.6 billion project would be funded.

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As per Bluewater Wind’s President

Bluewater’s new partnership with Babcock & Brown provides us with the commitment, strength, reliability and financial backing to successfully develop the Delaware Offshore Wind Park, helping to ensure it will provide stable-priced, affordable, and clean, renewable power to Delmarva Power’s customers for many years to come.

Babcock & Brown Wind Partners is a serious player that quite probably can help make this a reality. Their “portfolio comprises an interest in 35 wind farms on three continents that have a total installed capacity of approximately 1700MW “.

This project shows the power of regulation. In 2005, Delaware instituted a Renewable Energy Standard (RES) calling for ten percent renewable electricity by 2018.  This led down a path of proposals to this wind project which could be producing power in 2011.

Now, looking at Bluewater Wind,  it seems that they have the key points, the http://www.flickr.com/photos/acore/‘elevator speech’ truly in mind to make this a reality.  From their front page discussion:

guarantee a wind park that produces price stability for 25 years while also protecting the environment and Delaware’s future.

Got it.  Economics: no electricity price inflation.  Protect environment and Delaware. 

The final agreement, once completed, will make Delaware the First State first again when it comes to developing and promoting clean, stable priced, and reliable energy.

Speak to pride.  “Make Delaware the First State first again …” is the type of stroking the ego and patriotism that will resonate with mean. And, well, that ’stable-priced’ to reinforce the no inflation mention. And, the line to counter the intermittency argument.

Wind power is the only utility scale energy source that produces zero carbon emissions? emissions that lead to global warming and threaten Delaware’s shoreline because of rising sea levels.

Back to the threat to Delaware, we are at risk. At risk, but we can do something about it, a (not the, a) solution is at hand.

The 150-turbine, 450 megawatt wind park will also have a significant economic impact by creating new jobs and securing predictable prices for residents and small businesses.

One line about politics, its about “JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!!!!”  Here we go, there will be jobs, good (green) jobs. And, well, did you know that the wind farm will provide inflation-free electricity?

Delaware will improve its energy security with energy generated in Delaware, for Delaware. And it will ensure an adequate supply of power as the state’s energy needs grow.

And, let us reinforce that this is about Delaware. Threat to Delaware and surmounting that threat.   Threat of Global Warming. Threat of poor energy supplies. Threat of inadequate electricity.  The wind farm answers it all.

The Offshore Wind Park will provide the amount of energy used by as many as 100,000 households in the state, and meets the state’s goals for stable-priced, clean energy. The wind park will provide electricity for Delaware without contributing to the growing threat of global warming and without contributing any air and water pollution

Did you know (e.g., the old advertising adage of ‘repeat, repeat, repeat’) that 100,000 Delaware households could get pollution free electricity?

The wind turbines are to be located at least 11 miles offshore. At that distance, the turbines will be difficult to see. On typical hazy summer days, the wind park will probably not be visible at all. See technically accurate Wind Park Visualizations here.

This last section is quite powerful.  Bluewater has provided high quality visualizations that suggest just how small the wind turbines will be to those sitting on the beach, doing their own exploitation of renewable power by getting a tan.

Truth be told, offshore wind power just makes tremendous sense to me. The NIMBY-ite fight against Cape Wind has, it seems, delayed offshore wind projects throughout the nation.  The damn, however, will eventually burst and the turbines will begin popping up off America’s shores.    Perhaps Delaware will be first …

Tags: electricity · renewable energy · wind power

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