Delaware to have offshore wind farm in 2012
The following post is by Earl Killian, guest blogger at Climate Progress.
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 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.