Monday, December 14, 2009

First Offshore Wind Energy Facility in U.S.

The company Deepwater Wind announced a deal last week to sell power from the first phase of a Rhode Island project that eventually could supply 15 percent of the state's electricity. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, Deepwater Wind will sell electricity from up to 8 turbines producing 28 megawatts to National Grid Plc. Earlier this year Rhode Island set a target to obtain 20 percent of its electricity from renewable resources by 2015.

Currently there are no offshore wind projects operating off the United States.

The other contender to become the first U.S. offshore wind farm is Cape Wind, a 130-turbine, $1 billion wind farm planned off the coast of Massachusetts, that has been mired in protests by critics.

The first phase of Deepwater's project, called the Block Island Wind Farm, is expected to start operations in 2013. Its turbines are planned to go up 3 miles off the coast of Block Island in state-owned waters. The project includes plans to build a transmission line to Block Island, which currently relies mostly on diesel fuel. Any excess electricity generated by the project that the island does not use will be fed to the state's main grid.

Deepwater also plans to build a larger utility-scale offshore wind power project in federal waters. The company could build the larger project in 2014 or 2015 and could grow it to 500 MW. Together the projects would generate about 1.3 million megawatt hours of electricity annually, enough to meet 15 percent of the state's energy needs, and cost $1.5 billion.

Deepwater also plans to bid for a proposed utility-scale offshore wind project off New York in the first quarter of 2010.

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1 comment:

Roger said...

Great to know these projects will facilitate power or electricity with the help of renewable energy. Wind energy as you know, is in the spotlight at present and places like Texas and Massachusetts are leading America in the production and consumption of wind energy. Companies like Pacific Crest Transformers is working to build a clean energy economy. Go to http://www.pacificcresttrans.com/home.html It has whitepapers and articles on the renewable energy economy.