Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bluewater Wind Pitching Wind Power to Maryland

One of the pivotal features of the power purchase agreement (PPA) between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power is that Bluewater will be able to market the wind farm to other potential buyers in New Jersey and Maryland, provided that Bluewater gives Delmarva the best deal it offers any new customer. This growth opportunity is significant enough for Bluewater to agree to a smaller project with thin profit margins. As the News Journal reports, Bluewater has gotten right to work selling wind power to Maryland:
[Maryland] Energy policy director William Brandon Farris confirmed broad details of the talks Wednesday, after reports circulated that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley supported the Delaware offshore wind venture and was open to working with the company on Maryland's needs.
"We're having discussions with Bluewater Wind," Farris said. "We are looking at all aspects. We fully support the Bluewater Wind proposal and would like to be involved in some way."
O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec said Maryland's governor outlined his views on offshore wind and Bluewater's agreement Friday during a National Governors Association event.
"He believes that it's a far more progressive way and a far more results-oriented way of looking at the energy crisis than lifting a ban on offshore drilling," Adamec said.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Governor O'Malley let the cat out of the bag while criticizing proposals to open up coastal areas to offshore oil drilling:
O'Malley's statement of interest in offshore wind power came in response to questions at a news conference about his position on President Bush's decision to lift an executive order prohibiting oil drilling off most of the U.S. coastline, a move that leaves a congressionally imposed ban in place.
The governor rejected Bush's position in harsh terms - calling the argument that it would help lower fuel prices "patently false" - before volunteering that the proposed project off the Delaware coast is "one offshore effort I would like to go in on."
With a PPA in hand, Bluewater now has considerable advantage of being able to expand its planned wind farm. It's far less expensive to add wind turbines to an existing project than it would be to build an entirely new project
Update: Allan Loudell has invited me to join him on WDEL, 1150 AM at either 5:25 or 5:35 to discuss the latest news on wind power. If you miss me during the noon hour, WDEL also posts podcasts of recent interviews.

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