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Bluewater ends Delmarva Power contract

A two-week scramble ended without a buyer for Bluewater Wind, and as promised, NRG Energy terminated its landmark offshore wind power contract with Delmarva Power.

DOVER ---- A two-week scramble ended without a buyer for Bluewater Wind, and as promised, NRG Energy terminated its landmark offshore wind power contract with Delmarva Power.

The hard-won 2008 power purchase agreement, the first for offshore wind in the U.S., was considered an essential ingredient in building a wind farm off the coast of Delaware. Tuesday was the final day under the contract for Bluewater to exercise an escape clause without forfeiting a $4 million security deposit.

Officials at NRG, which purchased Bluewater in 2009, notified Delmarva Power's parent company, Pepco Holdings Inc., of the termination, said Matt Likovich, a Delmarva Power spokesman. Delmarva Power reported it accepted the termination.

NRG spokesman David Gaier said NRG would "prudently maintain our offshore wind assets," including pursuit of a federal lease to put turbines off Delaware. NRG will still look for a buyer or major investor for Bluewater, Gaier said, but the project is essentially defunct without a contracted buyer for the power.

Numerous prospective buyers had made inquiries in the days since Dec. 12, when NRG announced it would terminate the contract if it could not sell the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

DOVER ---- A two-week scramble ended without a buyer for Bluewater Wind, and as promised, NRG Energy terminated its landmark offshore wind power contract with Delmarva Power.

The hard-won 2008 power purchase agreement, the first for offshore wind in the U.S., was considered an essential ingredient in building a wind farm off the coast of Delaware. Tuesday was the final day under the contract for Bluewater to exercise an escape clause without forfeiting a $4 million security deposit.

Officials at NRG, which purchased Bluewater in 2009, notified Delmarva Power's parent company, Pepco Holdings Inc., of the termination, said Matt Likovich, a Delmarva Power spokesman. Delmarva Power reported it accepted the termination.

NRG spokesman David Gaier said NRG would "prudently maintain our offshore wind assets," including pursuit of a federal lease to put turbines off Delaware. NRG will still look for a buyer or major investor for Bluewater, Gaier said, but the project is essentially defunct without a contracted buyer for the power.

Numerous prospective buyers had made inquiries in the days since Dec. 12, when NRG announced it would terminate the contract if it could not sell the venture by deadline.

Bluewater President Peter Mandelstam traveled to Europe in search of a buyer as the days ticked down, but without success, Gaier said.

The interested companies included turbine manufacturers in Europe and Asia, manufacturers of other components of offshore wind farms, financial institutions and large construction firms, Gaier said.

"It's just such a huge disappointment that this is going down," said state Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton, one of Bluewater's early supporters more than four years ago.

Major economic and political shifts in the intervening years doomed the project.

Collin O'Mara, Delaware's natural resources secretary, said no one wanted to put any money at risk with critical federal subsidies for wind power uncertain in a bitterly divided Congress.

Some of the prospective buyers remain interested in Delaware as a future site for offshore wind, but, for now, "it is a setback," O'Mara said.

Mandelstam said he was unable to provide comment, deferring to NRG.

NRG President and CEO David Crane said two weeks ago that uncertainty about federal tax credits and a loan guarantee program, combined with a difficult lending environment, led the company to its conclusion to exit the contract.


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

DEC 29 2011
http://www.windaction.org/posts/32826-bluewater-ends-delmarva-power-contract
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