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Delaware's windy coast is an ideal location for the new wind farm.  (Source: Bluewater Wind)

Bluewater Wind, which currently operates an offshore plant in Denmark is building a massive new $1.6B dollar wind farm off Delaware's coast.  (Source: Bluewater Wind)
In the quest to make wind power less obtrusive, some companies are deploying their products in creative new ways.

The push for wind power is gaining almost as much momentum as the solar power push.  The key challenge to wind power is location.  While some efforts, such as billionaire T. Boone Picken's new wind farm merely look to build on sparsely populated areas, others have looked to place mini windmills on buildings or elsewhere.

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 utilities. 

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 piece.

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.





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