Who will win the race to be America’s offshore energy source?

by Mike Gaworecki

June 24, 2008

While we wait for Cape Wind to clear all of the legal hurdles still preventing it from becoming a reality, the title of “America’s First Offshore Wind Farm” might just be claimed by another project:

(CNN) — A contract to build what is being called the nation’s first offshore field of wind turbines was announced Monday by a Delaware utility and a firm that will build the generators off the Atlantic coast.

Officials from Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind announced details of their agreement in Newark, Delaware. Bluewater spokesman Jim Lanard said the power company will get about 16 percent of its electricity from a field of 150 wind turbines, anchored in the seafloor about a dozen miles off Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.…

The offshore site is expected to be operational within four years, but the timing depends on how quickly regulatory agencies can review and approve the construction project.

Using electricity generated by the wind, " Delmarva Power will be able to light about 50,000 homes a year, every year" for the duration of the 25-year contract, Lanard said, with first power expected by 2012.

To me, the most important takeaway from the article is that an offshore wind project that has just been announced could be producing energy and helping stabilize the market as soon as 2012, assuming there are no significant legal challenges to the plan. Compare that with offshore drilling, which experts tell us will not produce any oil or gas for sale on the market until 2017. Just another reason why clean, renewable energy sources are by far the better investment.

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