Library filed under Offshore Wind
Offshore wind farms are at least three times more expensive to build and operate than their landlocked cousins and aren't close to being competitive with coal and natural gas. Offshore wind still accounts for just a small fraction of global power production. Says Peter Asmus, an analyst at the consultancy Navigant: "Offshore wind will only make sense if you do it in a very big way."
The clock is quietly winding down on Fishermen’s Energy offshore wind project, a proposal its backers say could propel New Jersey into becoming a hub for offshore wind farms, and potentially create hundreds, if not thousands of new manufacturing jobs in the state. The 25-megawatt pilot, located 2.8 miles off Atlantic City, is the first to come under review by state regulators, but its prospects of moving forward are looking bleaker by the week, if not by the day.
Michael Limburg, vice-president of the European Institute for Climate and Energy, told CNN that the government's energy targets are "completely unfeasible." The rapid transition to renewables is economically "insane," arguing that wind farms will cost at least 13 times more than traditional coal plants.
"Investors will always want more," he said. "We believe that what we have set will be sufficient to drive the necessary scale of investment and strikes the right balance between the interests of the consumer and the necessary return for investors to ensure we deliver the capacity."
The UMaine partnership's lawyer, Tony Buxton, said the proposal was filed as a confidential document in keeping with the practices of all other PUC bidders, including Statoil, and would be made public if and when a power contract is awarded by the PUC. Buxton pointed out that the university project is in competition for federal energy funds with six national deep water wind proposals, including Statoil.
Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association: "I was surprised that the university's application was confidential, from top to bottom. It doesn't seem to be the most transparent way. How is the general public, the industry and policy makers to know what to support?" Payne said he also expects UMaine's power contract proposal to be well above market rates.
When a proposal to get the state's electric ratepayers to pay higher-than-market prices for power from an experimental offshore wind project comes sealed from public view, it's natural to wonder why. That the proposal comes from a partnership involving the University of Maine, a taxpayer-funded institution, makes it even more curious. The public deserves to know what it may be buying, and competitors need to know that the process is fair.
For the second time in two months, the federal government is auctioning leases to build offshore wind farms along the Eastern Seaboard -- once again without including New Jersey. The latest auction involved 112,800 acres approximately 25 miles off the Virginia coast.
The company says it has listened so far, altering plans that came under fire for threatening tourism, marine life and shipping safety. Opponents have criticised previous drawings and models of the proposal, claiming they do not paint a realistic picture of what the turbines look like.
Developers are facing fierce opposition over plans to build the world's second-largest wind farm in the Bristol Channel. RWE, a German energy firm, wants to construct 240 offshore turbines, each 722ft tall - more than four times the height of Nelson's column - to generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity.
When the U.S. Department of the Interior brought an offshore wind farm simulation to coastal North Carolina this week, residents weren't thrilled with what they saw. The possibility of seeing an array of red warning lights on 460-foot-tall turbines far offshore on clear nights drew a thumbs-down from many viewers.
"I wouldn't object to these fields being 15 nautical miles out but they have been proposed near our community at 6 and 7 miles because that's where wind conditions and shallow water is," Scott explained, saying that this is too close for comfort. The BOEM study wasn't linked to any actual concrete plan for development of wind turbine farms off the coast but served as a hypothetical to inform both the public.
Only a handful of companies have the qualifications and equipment to remove seafloor explosives -- the special ship required for it costs up to €200,000 per day ...the turbines are currently being powered by a diesel generator, because they need to continue moving to avoid gathering rust. Given the latest developments, Riffgat may be an energy drain, instead of an energy producer, for quite some time.
Mark Rodgers, a spokesman for EMI, tells me the firm didn't bid on the offshore leases because its team is completely focused on securing financing for Cape Wind by the end of 2013. The company has made some progress this year in that regard, but it still has a ways to go for a project that will likely exceed $2 billion in cost. Rodgers says EMI will strongly consider other offshore wind areas that could be the subject of future lease auctions.
Because the Centrica turbines off the coast of Skegness are made in Denmark, workers from the region are being flown in daily to work on them. The demand has meant that Scandinavian Airlines will begin a six day a week service between Copenhagen and Humberside Airport in October.
Only recently, the offshore wind industry was seen as an opportunity to regenerate Germany's coast. But amid changing political attitudes and spiraling costs, several companies are struggling to survive. Is the wind boom over before it even really began?
The Providence company emerged from the nation's first competitive sale of offshore renewable energy leases on Wednesday as the provisional winner, with bids of $3.7 million for the north section of the area, which is believed to be more suitable for development, and $94,000 for the south section.
I do not think that the Narragansett Town Council will permit Deepwater Wind to funnel electricity from its Block Island wind farm through Narragansett. ...With a new town council in place, President James Callaghan stated publicly: "When you think about it, this is not the best for the town when it goes through our most precious resource."
It seems that each time the US gets close to having its first offshore wind farm, the project gets scuttled. Even a tiny, 25 megawatt (MW) wind farm planned off the coast of Atlantic City has been rejected by New Jersey's Board of Public Utilities.
"The OSAMP [Ocean Special Area Management Plan] Subcommittee's [a CRMC subcommittee] vote to deny Intervenor status to the Plaintiffs in this contested case was a violation of the APA [Administrative Procedures Act], and beyond its legal authority, because ... Plaintiffs met the standard for intervention, and at the time of the vote CRMC was acting on incomplete and defective applications, and pursuant to a defective Public Notice."