Wilmington hosts wind energy conference

    As the presidential candidates stump across the states selling their alternative energy plans, hundreds met in Wilmington this week to discuss one new energy source — offshore wind. From WHYY’s health and science desk Kerry Grens reports on local efforts leading the trend.

    As the presidential candidates stump across the states selling their alternative energy plans, hundreds met in Wilmington this week to discuss one new energy source — offshore wind. From WHYY’s health and science desk Kerry Grens reports on local efforts leading the trend.

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    Transcript:

    At a hotel in Wilmington, hundreds of researchers, energy developers and environmental advocates packed a first-of-its kind workshop on offshore wind.

    Laurie Jodziewicz is with the American Wind Energy Association. She says she didn’t know what to expect when her group organized the conference. While on-shore wind has accelerated in popularity in the last two years, offshore wind has only recently caught up.

    Jodziewicz: We’ve seen quite a bit of momentum in the offshore wind market this year, with the Delaware power purchase agreement for the Delmarva Bluewater project, also with New Jersey and Rhode Island putting out competitive solicitations.

    Delaware is set to become the first state with an offshore wind farm. Bluewater Wind has proposed bulding 150 turbines 11 miles offshore. Bluewater’s spokesman Jim Lanard says that while it could cost residents 70 cents more per month for electricity, residents are willing to pay more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Ladar: Our estimates now are that we’ll avoid 1.4 billion lbs of CO2 emissions each year.

    If Bluewater completes its permits within two years, Lanard expects the wind farm to be in business by 2012.

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