Article

Delaware energy: Wind execs decry permit delays

Manufacturers noted positive momentum in the U.S. market, but industry players bemoaned the piecemeal nature of their progress, with developers proposing projects, states and utilities seeking clean energy, and various arms of the federal government working on permits, not always in perfect harmony.

Generating costs also occupy industry conference

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- With little voter appetite for new government subsidies, federal officials are looking to the laboratory to drive down the price of offshore wind power.

The industry has great potential, but breaking through high costs and government permit problems were major topics here on opening day of the American Wind Energy Association's annual offshore wind power conference.
The size of Wednesday's paid attendance -- about 1,700, up from just 400 at the first confab in Wilmington two years ago -- and the addition of a bustling exhibit hall reflected increased interest by developers, manufacturers, government agencies and academics.

"For an industry that doesn't exist, this is quite a turnout," said Scott Keating, North American general manager of sales for the turbine manufacturer Vestas. His company recently completed the largest wind farm in the world off the coast of the United Kingdom, installing 100 turbines in 100 days. "We are quite optimistic this industry will blossom, will grow in North America."

The session got off to a celebratory start when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the approval of the nation's... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Generating costs also occupy industry conference

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- With little voter appetite for new government subsidies, federal officials are looking to the laboratory to drive down the price of offshore wind power.

The industry has great potential, but breaking through high costs and government permit problems were major topics here on opening day of the American Wind Energy Association's annual offshore wind power conference.
The size of Wednesday's paid attendance -- about 1,700, up from just 400 at the first confab in Wilmington two years ago -- and the addition of a bustling exhibit hall reflected increased interest by developers, manufacturers, government agencies and academics.

"For an industry that doesn't exist, this is quite a turnout," said Scott Keating, North American general manager of sales for the turbine manufacturer Vestas. His company recently completed the largest wind farm in the world off the coast of the United Kingdom, installing 100 turbines in 100 days. "We are quite optimistic this industry will blossom, will grow in North America."

The session got off to a celebratory start when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the approval of the nation's first lease of an offshore tract for wind energy -- to Cape Wind for a Nantucket Sound parcel. NRG Bluewater Wind is seeking such a lease to build off Delaware.

The federal leasing process is just one hurdle in a 7-9 year process a developer now must negotiate in order to build an offshore wind farm.

Keating said many permitting, policy and technical issues must be overcome before there are enough offshore wind projects to justify building turbine factories in the U.S.

Manufacturers noted positive momentum in the U.S. market, but industry players bemoaned the piecemeal nature of their progress, with developers proposing projects, states and utilities seeking clean energy, and various arms of the federal government working on permits, not always in perfect harmony.

Chris Hart, the U.S. Energy Department's offshore wind team leader, said his top priority is driving down the cost of offshore wind, which can be twice that of old-school fuel.


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

OCT 7 2010
http://www.windaction.org/posts/28350-delaware-energy-wind-execs-decry-permit-delays
back to top