Rhode Island Offshore Wind Turbines Doubled

As continues to be obvious, thebattle to win the economic battle for wind energy was won a long time ago andunlimited financing is fueling what is a massive global build out.

Subsidies do end eventually andwe have paid for power generation costing almost nothing that can and will takeany price.  It is one of perhaps threelegs in the grid energy system, but this part is been build today.

Wind, solar and geothermal ishugely plentiful and all can be price takers because they are all fuelfree.  Until we have fusion energy available,this triumvirate will steadily displace all other sources of grid energy exceptthe occasional hydro plant already in place.

The advent of schooling theturbines will also reduce land coverage by an order of magnitude.  That will still make the facility next door painful,but it eliminate the demand for usable land to the extent that a ten foldincrease could likely be done on installed capacity.

Proposed Rhode IslandOffshore Wind Farm Jumps To 1,000 MW

by Matthew McDermott, New York, NY  on 12. 9.10
Science & Technology (alternative energy)

photo: Deepwater Wind

Rhode Island's first offshore wind farm, and depending on constructionspeed perhaps the first in the United States, has more than doubled in proposedsize. According to Deepwater Wind has said the increased size will allow itdeliver electricity at a lower price--even though the project cost has nowjumped to $6 billion.

The new specs for the project: 200 turbines, at least 18 miles off theRhode Island coast; 1,000 Megawatts (previously it was 350 MW), with anundersea transmission network stretching from Massachusettsto New York.The transmission network alone adds between $500 million and $1 billion to theprice tag.

At that size the Deepwater Wind Energy Center becomes one of thelargest offshore wind projects under development anywhere in the world.

No doubt some of the reason why Deepwater increased the size of theproject: Under the previous plan, electricity from the project was going to besold to National Grid for 24.4 cents per kilowatt-hour. If you haven't checkedyour electric bill for the exact rate you're paying, that's really high for themainland United States.Nearby, Cape Windsigned a power purchase agreement with National Grid for 18.7 cents/kWh--stillabove average for the US,but only barely for the region. Under the new larger proposal, Deepwater saysit expects to be able to deliver electricity in the "mid-teens" perkilowatt-hour.

Whatever form it takes, if the USwants to even be in the offshore wind power race, more projects like these needto get underway as both Europe and China continue well in the lead.

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