Like most big, bold ideas, the Atlantic Wind Connection is risky, and this week's Bluewater announcement can hardly be a good portent. AWC - which is a transmission line, not a power-generation project - won't go forward without an offshore wind boom along the Atlantic Coast.
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Vice mayor Jack Gordon said: "Based on this letter and previous actions, I do not believe that NRG Bluewater has been dealing with the town in good faith. The townspeople cannot tolerate having this issue hanging over their heads for any longer."
In what garnished rapid applause from residents, officials voted to end discussions with NRG Bluewater Wind on the request for underground power lines from their proposed offshore wind farm through the town.
Representatives from NRG Bluewater Wind met with town officials Friday to discuss plans to bring wind power to the town. ...NRG Founder/President Peter Mandelstam described how the cables will be about 6 feet under the sea floor, 15 feet under the beach.
Detractors of offshore wind power have long pointed out that the wind doesn't always blow very hard, even over the high seas, which makes it a somewhat undependable way to keep the lights on. But a team of University of Delaware researchers say they've quantified a way to make that less of a problem -- and reduce the need to develop costly backup power plants on land or dip into the expensive peak-period electricity market when winds are limp.
Now regional power grid operator PJM Interconnection is dialing back its projections of future energy use amid a sluggish economy, increases in energy efficiency and the new economics of energy in the age of carbon consciousness. That has set off a domino reaction of delays in power companies' plans to build those lines, as PJM reassesses when the lines will be needed, if they're needed at all.