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Wind-turbine project loses a big player

DelaWind has withdrawn its application for a $350,000 investment from the state economic development office, as well as an application for tax credits from the U.S. Department of Energy, O'Brien said in a written statement. ...The uncertainty of when the turbines would be built affected the ability to attract financing, Carney said.

A plan to build the steel supports for offshore wind turbines in Delaware has been dealt a setback with the withdrawal one of the business partners.

Plans for the DelaWind project included building up to 300 offshore wind-turbine supports, also known as towers, that would link the spinning blades and gearbox to the ocean's floor.

But Amer Industrial Technologies, which owns a large machine shop along the Delaware River, dropped out of the project last week, said Dennis O'Brien, CEO of Transformative Technologies, which developed the idea.

DelaWind has withdrawn its application for a $350,000 investment from the state economic development office, as well as an application for tax credits from the U.S. Department of Energy, O'Brien said in a written statement.

John Carney, executive vice president of the project, said Transformative Technologies would continue trying to move the project forward.

The uncertainty of when the turbines would be built affected the ability to attract financing, Carney said.

"We still believe in the concept, somebody's going to build those towers," he said. "We'd like to see them built here in Delaware."

In its application to the state, DelaWind... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

A plan to build the steel supports for offshore wind turbines in Delaware has been dealt a setback with the withdrawal one of the business partners.

Plans for the DelaWind project included building up to 300 offshore wind-turbine supports, also known as towers, that would link the spinning blades and gearbox to the ocean's floor.

But Amer Industrial Technologies, which owns a large machine shop along the Delaware River, dropped out of the project last week, said Dennis O'Brien, CEO of Transformative Technologies, which developed the idea.

DelaWind has withdrawn its application for a $350,000 investment from the state economic development office, as well as an application for tax credits from the U.S. Department of Energy, O'Brien said in a written statement.

John Carney, executive vice president of the project, said Transformative Technologies would continue trying to move the project forward.

The uncertainty of when the turbines would be built affected the ability to attract financing, Carney said.

"We still believe in the concept, somebody's going to build those towers," he said. "We'd like to see them built here in Delaware."

In its application to the state, DelaWind predicted it could create 560 new jobs and create a wind-energy manufacturing sector in Delaware.

O'Brien attributed the breakup to "management differences on the timing, priorities and structure of the business in light of the challenging economic environment."

Carney, a former lieutenant governor and now a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, said he stood by his plan to phase out his participation in the project at the beginning of next year. He said he'll continue his work with Transformative Technologies on other projects.

Amer builds parts for nuclear power plants. Ahmad Amer, owner of the company that bears his name, said he noticed that Republicans had criticized the project's application for state funding. Those criticisms tended to revolve around Carney's participation.

"It became a political issue, so I don't want it to hurt anybody's feelings and so I decided nobody needed that," Amer said. He said there were other disagreements, too. "I don't like financing, and they do. And they needed money. I don't need money," Amer said.

Carney said the project was exploring alternatives. Although Evraz Claymont Steel was not interested in being an ownership partner, perhaps it might allow its facilities to be leased for the project, he said.

Another option could be giving Steel Suppliers Erectors Inc., the Wilmington company that would make the underwater support structures, a bigger role, Carney said.

Because of the massive size of the towers, they cannot be transported by truck, so "you've got to be on the water, basically. That limits your potential facilities and partnerships," Carney said.

"You live to fight another day," Carney said.


Source: http://www.delmarvanow.com/...

DEC 22 2009
http://www.windaction.org/posts/23745-wind-turbine-project-loses-a-big-player
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