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Delaware energy: Bluewater wins right to take the next step

NRG Bluewater Wind has won the exclusive right to negotiate with the federal government to build an offshore wind farm off Delaware, federal officials announced Thursday. The decision is the first formal step along a gamut of environmental and permitting reviews.

Offshore wind energy project clears federal hurdle

LEWES -- NRG Bluewater Wind has won the exclusive right to negotiate with the federal government to build an offshore wind farm off Delaware, federal officials announced Thursday.

The decision is the first formal step along a gamut of environmental and permitting reviews that company officials expect will culminate in a landmark renewable-energy project supplying enough power to support at least 54,000 homes.

Bluewater is planning a wind farm 13.2 miles off the Delaware coast, with between 49 large turbines and 150 smaller ones.

The decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement marks the first time that it has begun lease negotiations with a wind-power developer under new federal rules, and comes nearly three years after Bluewater signed a 25-year supply contract with Delmarva Power.

The contract requires the turbines to start producing electricity no later than 2016.

"This gives a lot more certainty that the project will go forward, and the lease will be executed," said Ned Farquhar, the bureau's deputy assistant... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Offshore wind energy project clears federal hurdle

LEWES -- NRG Bluewater Wind has won the exclusive right to negotiate with the federal government to build an offshore wind farm off Delaware, federal officials announced Thursday.

The decision is the first formal step along a gamut of environmental and permitting reviews that company officials expect will culminate in a landmark renewable-energy project supplying enough power to support at least 54,000 homes.

Bluewater is planning a wind farm 13.2 miles off the Delaware coast, with between 49 large turbines and 150 smaller ones.

The decision by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement marks the first time that it has begun lease negotiations with a wind-power developer under new federal rules, and comes nearly three years after Bluewater signed a 25-year supply contract with Delmarva Power.

The contract requires the turbines to start producing electricity no later than 2016.

"This gives a lot more certainty that the project will go forward, and the lease will be executed," said Ned Farquhar, the bureau's deputy assistant secretary of land and minerals management.

Officially, the bureau's decision was a "determination of no competitive interest," which helps Bluewater avoid further delays in its effort to gain a lease and permit to start construction. That's because it won't have to grapple with another developer for the rights to build on the ocean tracts it has chosen.

The decision knocks out of the running Bluewater's sole competitor in the leasing process, a little-known company named Occidental Development & Equities.

Occidental's president, Miguel Payano, said Thursday that the competitive process was going to take too many years to play out, and his company opted not to supply information being sought by the Interior Department.

"That ended up disqualifying us," Payano said, adding that someday, "maybe we can do a project next to Bluewater."

Farquhar said the decision was a vote of confidence in Bluewater's financial and technical ability to complete the project. It helped, he said, that Bluewater is now owned by NRG Energy, a large power-generation company.


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

MAR 25 2011
http://www.windaction.org/posts/30412-delaware-energy-bluewater-wins-right-to-take-the-next-step
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