The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Offshore Wind in the US Making Steady Progress

Yesterday the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) approved a 15-year PPA for National Grid to purchase the power and RECs generated by Cape Wind. This is yet one more step forward for the 420-MW project, which has been in the works for almost 10 years.

The proceedings show that the DPU recognized the additional benefits that offshore wind power provides, beyond just electricity. One abstract from the approval stated "[I]t is abundantly clear that the Cape Wind facility offers significant benefits that are not currently available from any other renewable resources. We find that these benefits outweigh the costs of the project."

According to a Cape Wind press release, the decision took six months, including 13 days of evidentiary hearings with testimony from 15 witnesses, 1,362 exhibits and nearly 3,000 transcript pages. The decision was also a political one; many Congressional and Gubenatorial candidates criticised the high cost of the PPA. Even at 18.7 cents per kWh, the utility buyer, National Grid, estimates the average monthly electricity bill will rise by $1.26 per month.

In response to the 10-year legal and regulatory battle that Cape Wind has faced, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar vowed yesterday to fast track future offshore wind projects, much in the same way that he has fast tracked solar energy projects on public lands.  As many as 7 utility-scale solar energy projects were approved for construction on public lands this fall.

According to the associated press, at a speech in Baltimore, MD this afternoon, Salazar highlighted the need to remove some of the permitting obstacles that stand in the way of offshore wind projects. "The Cape Wind lease is an historic milestone in America's renewable energy future, but to fully harness the economic and energy benefits of our nation's vast Atlantic wind potential we need to implement a smart permitting process that is efficient, thorough and unburdened by needless red tape," he said.

Salazar and 11 Atlantic Coast governors established an offshore wind energy consortium in June 2010 to promote the development of offshore wind energy on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Google recently announced that it was investing $5 billion dollars in a transmission backbone to run up and down the Atlantic coast.  The trasmission backbone will enable offshore wind farms to provide power to the population centers near the coast.

With faster permitting, a commitment from 11 governors to pursue it and a transmission backbone in place, offshore wind energy for the eastern seaboard in the U.S. may soon be more than just a pipe dream.

RELATED ARTICLES

Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...
Microgrids

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Renewable Energy World's network editors help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S. and the UK, the team is comprised of editors from Pennwell Corporation's myriad of publications that ...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

03/01/2015
Volume 18, Issue 3
file

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

Wind Power Central America

Wind power projects are expected to reach 46GW of total installed capaci...

COMPANY BLOGS

SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS