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UD wind project among senators' requests for federal funding

As Delaware lawmakers debate the costs of offshore wind as an energy source, the University of Delaware is studying how to use onshore wind to power its Lewes campus. The university already has committed to spending $85,000 on the project and could receive $4 million if Congress approves requests from Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper. The senators included the request among millions of dollars in special projects they're seeking in next year's federal budget. ...The University of Delaware maintains its project is not connected to the current debate. There are only a few coastal areas in Delaware where such a project could work, and one is Lewes, Kempton said.

As Delaware lawmakers debate the costs of offshore wind as an energy source, the University of Delaware is studying how to use onshore wind to power its Lewes campus.

The university already has committed to spending $85,000 on the project and could receive $4 million if Congress approves requests from Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper.

The senators included the request among millions of dollars in special projects they're seeking in next year's federal budget.

They disclosed their wish lists for special projects on their Web sites for the first time Friday after submitting them to Senate appropriations subcommittees. Biden is seeking about $342 million and Carper is seeking about $349 million. About $328 million of the requests is being sought by both senators.

The requests mark the beginning of a long process, with no guarantees of approval.

University officials say federal funding would allow them to take their wind project to the next level.

"That would be very, very helpful toward covering the cost, or a large part," said Willett Kempton, associate professor at the university's College of Marine and Earth Studies.

The senators' requests include funding for... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

As Delaware lawmakers debate the costs of offshore wind as an energy source, the University of Delaware is studying how to use onshore wind to power its Lewes campus.

The university already has committed to spending $85,000 on the project and could receive $4 million if Congress approves requests from Sens. Joe Biden and Tom Carper.

The senators included the request among millions of dollars in special projects they're seeking in next year's federal budget.

They disclosed their wish lists for special projects on their Web sites for the first time Friday after submitting them to Senate appropriations subcommittees. Biden is seeking about $342 million and Carper is seeking about $349 million. About $328 million of the requests is being sought by both senators.

The requests mark the beginning of a long process, with no guarantees of approval.

University officials say federal funding would allow them to take their wind project to the next level.

"That would be very, very helpful toward covering the cost, or a large part," said Willett Kempton, associate professor at the university's College of Marine and Earth Studies.

The senators' requests include funding for Delaware environmental programs, transportation and infrastructure projects, education, crime fighting, health care, Dover Air Force Base and companies based in the state.

Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., in March disclosed more than $200 million in special projects he requested alone or with others.

In the past, the lawmakers disclosed what they were seeking in money for special projects only after the projects were inserted into legislation. They cited reasons for withholding their requests last summer, when Gannett News Service first requested the information.

Their change in policy will allow constituents to compare what the lawmakers seek to what they ultimately get.

"Since Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, we've instituted several reforms designed to increase transparency and accountability in the appropriations process," Biden and Carper said in a joint statement. "As part of our ongoing effort to improve transparency, we are posting these requests on our Web sites; our procedures this year are otherwise unchanged."

The senators' lists both include about $30 million in requested funding for the University of Delaware, including the $4 million for the wind-energy project. Before those requests are funded, they must be approved by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the full House and Senate as part of government spending bills.

Castle submitted a different request for wind research in previous years, but it wasn't funded.

Delaware officials are exploring the possibility of approving a wind farm off Rehoboth Beach. Delmarva Power, which would be forced into a 25-year contract with Bluewater Wind, maintains the project would be costly for consumers.

Delmarva Power prefers relying on onshore wind from other states to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Bluewater supporters counter that the project would bring jobs and clean energy to the state.

The University of Delaware maintains its project is not connected to the current debate. There are only a few coastal areas in Delaware where such a project could work, and one is Lewes, Kempton said.

The university's 10-month feasibility study will erect a temporary meteorological tower sometime next week on the Lewes campus. This phase will determine the exact amount of wind that can be produced, whether the local utility would accept any surplus power and whether power lines are large enough.

"We believe it's feasible," Kempton said. "I'd bet personal money on it. But you don't put a multimillion-dollar project up until you have really definite data, and that's what we're getting now."

Kempton said the federal funding would help purchase and install a permanent wind turbine and tower, along with the electrical connections.

"It's a model and a test for other wind turbines," he said.


Source: http://www.delawareonline.c...

MAY 3 2008
http://www.windaction.org/posts/14771-ud-wind-project-among-senators-requests-for-federal-funding
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