Now one Delaware utility company is fostering
a bold new idea to solve wind power location complaints for sea-bordering
states -- put the turbines off shore. On Monday, Delmarva Power, a major
Delaware utility, announced that it was entering into a contract with Bluewater
Wind to produce the nation's first offshore wind farm.
According to Bluewater spokesman Jim Lanard, once installed there will be 150
turbines in total. Cumulatively they will provide 16 percent of the
utility's power output. The turbines will be securely anchored dozens of
miles off Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
However, Bluewater isn't stopping there. Delmarva will only use
approximately half the projected generating capacity of the farm. The
remainder of the new wind farm's juice will be sold off to other
The price tag on this incredible adventure is a cool $1.6B USD.
Construction will begin immediately pending regulatory inspection and
approval. This may become a lengthy process, though. Bluewater is
hoping to push it through as quickly as possible, as it hopes to have the plant
operational within four years.
Bluewater has a 25-year contract with Delmarva, which is slated to begin in
2012. Says Lanard, "[With the wind farm's power] Delmarva Power will
be able to light about 50,000 homes a year, every year."
The benefits will be passed on to the consumer, says Lanard, who will be
protected against instability in energy costs. The wind power is sold at
a locked in rate per kilowatt hour.
Bluewater brings to the table experience from its successful establishment of
an offshore plant in Denmark. At the Delaware plant, the turbines will
rest in 75-feet deep water, and will rise 250 feet above the water line.
Hurricanes should be no problem for them as they are engineered to withstand
the brunt of a hurricane. Each turbine has three blades, 150 feet long a
Only on extremely clear days will the park be visible from shore.
Vacationers travelling to Rehoboth Beach in the summer will rarely see the
park. Says Lanard, "If they can see them at all, the turbine blades
would cover about the size of your thumbnail, and the poles would be about the
width of a toothpick."
With a lot of excitement floating around this idea, it would not be surprising
to see other green-centric
states like California and Oregon jumping on the offshore wind-farm trend
in coming years. Bluewater also has pending proposals with utilities and
government entities in New York, Rhode Island, and New Jersey as well.
quote: No one builds reactors that small any more. NRG's Texas expansion has two reactors, each rated at 1300MW. Japan's Kashi-Kari plant has 7 reactors, generating a total of 8,200 MW.
quote: GE's commercial 2.% MW wind turbines don't reach full output until 29 MPH (which is close to 11 m/s):
quote: I have yet to see a commercial wind site with an AF over 50%....35% is typical. If you want to dispute this, post actual statistics from operating sites.
quote: It is when a reactor can easily generate 2,000 MWatts or more-- and do so 90% or more of the time. Whereas this wind farm will only generate 200 MWatts, and at a 30% AF, will actually produce only about 1/30 the total amount of power.
quote: It shouldn't change them at all, as its my understanding, the $1.6B deal covers only the deal between Delmarva and Bluewater.
quote: and the Senate is waiting to act on a resolution passed by the House that would order Delmarva to sign a 25-year, $1.5 billion deal committing it to buy as much as 300 megawatts an hour of wind power from Bluewater
quote: Monday's $800 million, 25-year contract is for a wind farm planned a dozen miles offshore of Rehoboth Beach. [...] Delmarva would buy no more than 200 megawatts of power at any given time, down from 300.
quote: Even though [Chernobyl] had aging, bad reactor design, and a communist country that tried to cover it up instead of evacuating people, there are less than 60 known deaths from radiation.
quote: This is renewable engergy, there's more to consider than just monetary matters.
quote: In the end, if it doesn't make financial sense, it's charity.If utility companies, the federal government or state governments want to engage in charity -- okay. I for one would just prefer they not try to sugar coat it by pretending its financially wise, however. Then the voters, or in the case of utility companies, shareholders, can decide if they wish to be so charitable or not.
quote: Let me guess, tax dollars will make up the rest.
quote: However, Bluewater isn't stopping there. Delmarva will only use approximately half the projected generating capacity of the farm. The remainder of the new wind farm's juice will be sold off to other utilities.
quote: Hopefully $0 of tax payers money goes into this project since it looks like it will be plenty profitable.
quote: NRG's construction of pair of new nuclear reactors in Texas isn't getting any tax dollars.
quote: So, based on your own numbers, they will make a rate of return of 6%, which already is far from "in the red." Some other things to consider:
quote: Your numbers assume the average household power bill will remain at $100 per month for then next 25 years
quote: This is actually to remove inflation from the question. I assumed that energy costs would raise faster than inflation ($100 as opposed to $80) and looked at the post inflation real rate of return. Please remember that most of the 1.7 billion (up to 3.2 billion by the companies own proposal) will be financed at rates singificantly higher than 4%.
quote: Per DOE, the average Wholesale price of electricity in Pennsylvania Hub (probably the likely source of Delaware capcity) was around 72 dollars per MWh.
quote: It pretty much spelled out right here http://www.delmarva.com/_res/documents/staffreport... [...]
quote: Under this 25-year agreement, Bluewater Wind, the state-selected offshore wind provider, could begin delivering electricity to Delmarva Power’s Delaware customers around the year 2012. Delmarva Power’s customers would buy about half the amount of electricity at a lower overall price per megawatt-hour, as compared to the previous offer.
quote: Less clean than nuclear power, when all things are considered
quote: As I mentioned above, I don't think it's entirely fair to compare nuclear and wind as the former has had decades of time mature and still has significant problems. I wonder where wind power and other alternative means of electrical generation could be in 50 years.
quote: A nuclear power plant may be really cheap to run but it's extraordinarily expensive to build and even more so to dismantle and (at least here) taxpayers pay for that on top of the normal electricity bill.
quote: That simplistic analysis is far off target. For one, this windfarm will *not* power 50,000 households full time, as the availability factor will run about 40%.
quote: You have got to be kidding me!
quote: Actually just my own bill which is considerably higher as I have a wife and two kids with a relatively modest home of 1600 square feet in Florida. [...]
quote: No I was complaining about your use of average power when attempting to plan power source output.
quote: Nobody plans a power grid on average power usage, only peak power, and this is where your project falls short.
quote: While that gives reasonably accurate figures for traditional power plants, with AFs that range from 80-95%, it's far off base for wind and solar.
quote: The revised project, which includes a commercially unreasonable pricing escalator, imposes significant additional risk as well as cost on Delmarva’s SOS ratepayers;• Bluewater shifts the project’s risk associated with cost increases during construction to Delmarva SOS ratepayers, and thus, the ratepayers - not Bluewater - assume full responsibility
quote: Why make the stock holders responsible for something that might make their stock go down?
quote: . . . they had to be forced into it by the Delaware legislature
quote: they are giant propellers anchored deep into the earth!!!
quote: Unfortunately, tidal power stations are now generating as much backlash from environmentalists as coal or nuclear plants.
quote: Now one Delaware utility company is fostering a bold new idea to solve wind power location complaints for sea-bordering states -- put the turbines off shore.