Atlantic Offshore Wind Announcement – Happening Now

Posted on November 23, 2010. Filed under: News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior announces Atlantic Wind Initiative:  “Smart from the Start

  • This initiative builds on Cape Wind lessons to shorten the amount of time to complete leasing process for offshore wind projects. Cape Wind took 8 years!
  • Smart from the Start will also build off lessons from large scale solar development in the Southwest.
  • Additional leases to be issued in 2011 and 2012.
  • Next 60 days: identify high potential Wind Energy Areas (low environmental conflict) Already gathering info on DE and MD. If environmental review is passed, leases will be rewarded.
  • Change in regulations of Federal oceans management: elimination of a step that could save a year or more in permitting process.
  • Moving forward and contracting timeframe on for getting offshore built.

Comments from state and federal leaders:

Governor Martin O’Malley: Regulatory framework was too complex and needs to be shortened. “This is an important step today…the battle from a cleaner greener future will take more than a few days…it will take relentless follow up…Maryland stands with you to harness this tremendous resource”

Senator Tom Carper (DE): “Common sense rules and regulation provide predictability and certainty for businesses who need predictability, who need certainty” Want to make sure that all the peices are made in the US and help boost the US economy. Need to extend investment and production tax credits that will expire before projects will get built.

Senator Chris Coons (DE): The business community needs speed and reliability in order to get projects built”

Congressman John Sarbanes (MD): ZThis initiative hits the big 3 targets: 1) Advances environmental soundness and prudence going forward, 2) advances energy independence,  3) creates jobs. Domestic supply chain is a very exciting opportunity.

Jim Lanard, Offshore Wind Development Coalition: “Very important step…what we’ve been looking for and waiting for for years” Cannot underestimate the signals this announcement will send to supply chain partners to invest soon. Regulatory certainty will bring jobs to the US.

Predesignation of offshore wind zones will alllow the timeline for implementation to shrink.

Gov. O’Malley: In Maryland, the offshore wind resource is much greater than onshore wind. It will be important for Maryland to figure out how to enter into LT purchase contracts to give developers financial certainty.

Salazar: LT policy framework is crucial for lasting renewable development. What form will that take is still up for debate. Singular unique opportunity to do something major to take charge of the power needs of the US.

Regulatory approach will help advance investor interest: Designating high priority areas. All government effort in the next 6 months (DoD, FAA, NOAA, Coast Guard) pull information into prospectus to provide to investment public and ask who will invest. Expect to be in the leasing stage within a year with more information that has every been amassed. Once a company gets a lease, they will have less work to do because they will already have so much information. This will increase investor interest- already a good investment. Also, at the same time incentivize and promote offshore transmission lines- lots of synergies here.

 See other posts on offshore wind here.

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