Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Exploratory Leases Awarded for Offshore Wind

As Reuters reports, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar went to Atlantic City to announce that the department had issued five exploratory leases for wind power projects off the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware. (See the Interior release here.) These leases are for meteorological research towers to gather the data needed for siting eventual wind farms.
This announcement demonstrates that the Minerals Management Service is working through the regulatory process to enable offshore wind power projects to move forward. A formal comprehensive framework governing the development of offshore wind was issued on Earth Day, April 22.
Bluewater Wind was awarded two leases, one for Delaware and one for New Jersey. Two other companies, Deepwater Wind and Fishermen's Wind were also awarded leases in New Jersey waters. I spoke with Rob Propes of Bluewater, who tells me that the the New Jersey lease means that Bluewater is in the running to build one of the offshore wind projects in New Jersey.
As the News Journal reports, Bluewater has engaged investment bankers Credit Suisse to help entertain offers to buy the company from its bankrupt parent, Babcock & Brown. Rob tells me Bluewater is pitching the business to prospective buyers and hopes to complete a deal by the end of the year.

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