The states of Delaware and Rhode Island have selected companies to develop offshore wind farms to help each state reduce its energy dependence on foreign oil. Later this week, New Jersey is expected to dip its toe into the offshore wind waters.
We reported in June ('First State' in offshore wind energy, too? ) on the 25-year power contract in Delaware that will enable New Jersey-based Bluewater Wind to sell 200 megawatts of wind-generated electricity to Delmarva Power from a wind 600MW wind farm it plans to construct 11.5 miles off the coast of Rehoboth Beach.
On Thursday, Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri announced the selection of another Jersey-based firm, Deepwater Wind, (formerly Winergy), a Bluewater Wind competitor, to develop a privately financed project that would provide 1.3 million megawatt hours of offshore wind power per year.
At left, Governor Carcieri signs a contract with Christopher Brown, CEO of Deepwater Wind, whose company will construct a wind energy project off the coast of Rhode Island.
(The Providence Journal / Steve Szydlowski)
Deepwater Wind's major investors are FirstWind, an on-shore wind project developer, D.E. Shaw & Co., a capital investment firm with experience in the energy sector, and Ospraie Management, an asset management firm with a focus on alternative energy markets.
One of the apparent reasons why Deepwater beat out rival Bluewater (and five other bidders) for the Rhode Island contract was its pledge to invest $1.5 billion in a regional facility that would manufacture support structures for the company's wind towers and turbines. The facility is expected to create up to 800 direct jobs, with annual wages of $60 million.
Later this week, Governor Jon Corzine is expected to announce New Jersey's choice to receive a $19 million grant to develop a 350 megawatt, ocean-wind pilot project. If the project demonstrates that wind energy can succeed without significant environment damage, the state likely will ramp up its demand for ocean-wind power to as much as 3,000 megawatts.
Bluewater Wind is one of five contestants for the state grant. Deepwater Wind also is in the competition, teamed up with New Jersey's largest energy company, PSEG, in a partnership called Garden State Offshore Energy.
Also seeking the grant are:
- Environmental Technologies of New York, and
- Occidental Development & Equities of Bayonne
Off-shore wind farm to be N.J. business’s first
R.I. picks developer for $1.5B wind farm
Rhode Island picks former Winergy for wind farm
Ospraie, D.E. Shaw, developer to build Rhode Island wind farm
RI awards offshore wind farm rights to NJ firm
Wind power to light up N.J.
Wind-Power Politics (NY Times Magazine)