Federal budget cuts could doom the NRG Bluewater wind farm off the coast of Delaware.
Governor Jack Markell (D) says company’s decision to delay installation of a weather tower is disappointing. NRG Bluewater tells The News Journal that budget cuts for renewable energy projects have caused uncertainty for the viability of offshore wind projects. Markell says, “Our congressional delegation has been working very hard in a difficult environment in Washington to make sure that these federal loan guarantees are available, but that being said, at the moment they are not. The project appears to be in some jeopardy.”
Markell says even if Bluewater backs out of the project -something the company has not said it will do- another company could take its place. “We believe that the power purchase agreement still could have value and if NRG is not prepared to move forward with it, it may very well make sense to see if there are other companies who would want to.”
Markell says the state shouldn’t wait until the funding issue in Washington is worked out before trying to move forward. “There’s so much uncertainty in Washington, but we also don’t think it makes much sense to just wait for a few years to see how all that shakes out. So we think it may make sense to see whether there are others who would be interested in moving forward more quickly.”
In March, the U.S. Interior Department announced that it was preparing to issue a lease for operation in federal waters off the coast. The Bluewater Wind project was found to be the “sole qualified respondent” for developing wind power off Delaware’s shores.