Delaware is closer to riding into the wind-for renewable energy

    Delaware is a step closer to putting a wind farm off the beaches near Rehoboth.

    Delaware is a step closer to putting a wind farm off the beaches near Rehoboth.  The U.S. Interior Department Wednesday took a key step aimed at moving Delaware’s effort forward  by opening up waters off the Delaware coast for bids from renewable power companies.

    As reported on the WHYY newsmagazine First in November, Delaware sees its request for first approval of wind turbines off the coast as a key component to expanding state business into the area of renewable energy.  The Obama administration announced a year ago a plan for renewable energy expansion on the outer continental shelf with a program to grant leases, easements, and rights-of-way for orderly, safe, and environmentally responsible development of renewable energy.

    Governor Jack Markell and Delaware’s Congressional delegation praised the move announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.  Delaware has approved a plan by NRG/Bluewater Wind energy.  The company believes it can sell up to 200 megawatts of energy generated from the turbines.   Their plans calls for total generation of 450 megawatts.

    So far, NRG/Bluewater is the only company to publicly express interest.

    “Bluewater Wind has gone through a competitive process in the state and received a power purchase agreement – so I hope the federal process will go quickly and we can move into the construction phase,” said Delaware’s senior U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D).

    The next step is to see if anyone beside NRG/Bluewater Wind will enter a competing bid.  If none is received then the process continues in a noncompetitive bid.  Any requests for interest can be found on line at http://federalregister.gov/inspection.aspx.  A map of the area of interest is at: http://www.mms.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/stateactivities.htm#Delaware

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