Sunday, November 22, 2009

National Grid Again Rejects High Costs of Offshore Wind

National Grid for the second time has turned down a proposal from a Rhode Island offshore wind developer that wants to sell the electricity retailer energy from a yet-to-be-developed wind farm.

National Grid says the price to purchase renewable energy from New Jersey-based Deepwater Wind is too high, reports the Providence Journal. Deepwater is seeking to sell electricity to National Grid for 25.3 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to the 9.2 cents National Grid currently pays for buying power on the open market. Deepwater’s price would increase by 3.5 percent annually.

The Rhode Island governor and other state officials have been pressuring National Grid to purchase wind power from the proposed $200 million project near Block Island.

In June, Rhode Island enacted a law requiring National Grid to purchase renewable energy. If the state, Deepwater Wind and National Grid can’t come to an agreement, the state’s Public Utilities Commission can order arbitration.

Deepwater Wind sees the Block Island project as a test for an eventual $1.3 billion 106-turbine wind farm that would be located 15 miles off Rhode Island’s coast.

A report from the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaborative (USOWC) cites a Department of Energy finding that the United States has the potential to generate 900,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from its offshore wind resources.

Another study shows that annual offshore wind resources in the mid-Atlantic region totaled 330 gigawatts or nearly five times the estimated energy use in nine coastal states including Rhode Island.

Other offshore projects in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina and the Great Lakes are under development.

No comments: