Delaware to get offshore wind

Wind over Water

On Tuesday, the utility Delmarva announced a 25-year contract with Bluewater Wind Delaware, a subsidiary of the Babcock & Brown, to purchase 200 megawatts of power from a wind farm that would be constructed 11.5 miles in the Atlantic off Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach. First power is expected in 2012. The contract locks in the price Delmarva will pay per kilowatt-hour. Bluewater has previously built offshore energy near Denmark.

The wind farm will be located in ocean waters 75 feet deep. The turbine mounts will extend 90 feet into the sea floor and 250 feet above he waterline. Each of the three blades will be 150 feet long.

The final size of the wind farm is yet to be determined. Bluewater has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Delaware Electric Municipal Corporation for the sale of approximately 100,000 to 150,000 megawatt hours of power and 17 megawatts of capacity.

The agreement required legislative approval of changes to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to allow for a different handling of renewable energy credits (RECs) from the offshore wind farm. On Wednesday, an apparently elated state government rushed through a bill to that effect. Senate Bill 328 passed and Governor Ruth Ann Minner signed the legislation the same day. Four state agencies and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service still need to give their approval.

Bluewater Wind is currently also looking at possible projects in New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

— Earl. K

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8 Responses to Delaware to get offshore wind

  1. Andy Bauer says:

    Good for Delaware!

    Here’s hoping that Ted and Robert Jr. change their tune about Cape Wind.

  2. Earl Killian says:

    Andy, Bluewater appears to have learned from the Cape Wind saga. See their visualizations, which are designed to head off objections right away:

  3. Paul K says:

    Rehoboth Beach is one of the best on the Atlantic coast. There’s nothing here in the Midwest that comes close. It might be Delaware’s top tourist spot. This should be the second Atlantic wind project. The opposition to Cape Wind is a national scandal. As E. Killian’s link illustrates. Cape Wind was rejected for mainly aesthetic reasons. The spoiled view – ridiculous! wind turbines are beautiful – would hurt the tourism industry. Opposition by those hurt financially is understandable. Opposition by Robert Kennedy Jr. is beyond baffling. He, like climateprogress, promotes the Hansen end of creation projection. He called those who disagree with him guilty of treason, a crime punishable by death. He condemns the oil companies, rails against coal, and says we must bring CO2 emissions 80% below current levels to avoid unimaginable catastrophe. But when push comes to shove, the view from his veranda and local business interests are more important.

  4. hapa says:

    i first read all those numbers as meters. aieee! huge!

    it’s just weird, in feet. i have to translate.

    they’re using vestas 3MW turbines. kind of disappointingly, because they were contracting with only one utility, the farm is half the size the developer proposed. i wonder if somebody else could have stepped in to buy the rest. something to think about when deployment of wind starts in earnest.

    i mean this is one of the good differences between central and distributed generation — the modularity means the facility can easily be larger than any one customer wants, allowing for co-ops to participate, multiple utilities to participate — but here it means we get less clean energy installed in a planned project than we could have.

  5. Mauri Pelto says:

    We just need that first one offshore and the snowball will start rolling. Only after we have a number will we able to assess, what capacity of offshore wind we wish to pursue.

  6. hapa says:

    we could probably settle on a minimum now. how about 200GW peak.

  7. Earl Killian says:

    Bluewater hopes to put as much as 600 MW of turbines at the site, if they can find others to sign contracts. The 200 MW is simply the first signed contract. At you will find the estimate of 1.6 billion if it ends up being 450 MW. The other interesting thing about that story was the line “it took public outcry demanding a wind deal … to prompt Bluewater and Delmarva to finally reach an agreement.”

  8. alex45 says:

    Very nice article…
    Your links and analyzing are simply super…
    It is one of the well organized articles….



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