LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

The web's first ocean and offshore wind energy weblog. Continuously renewed, like the ocean itself.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Capewind Project Gains Celebrity Status

It's official - the Capewind project is a "star" - as evidence by this recent
about the project and the controversy from People Magazine. (3/24/03) Other celebrity notables quoted in the story are Robert Kennedy Junior and Walter Cronkite, who voice their opposition to the project.

New Offshore Task Force for the Cape

article by David Kibbe of Cape Cod Times
(3/26/03) reports that Massachusetts Governor Romney has created a panel to study offshore windfarms. The legislature had been considering similar action but the Governor's action preempts the need for legislation. Advocates of a task force assert that it's necessary because

Massachusetts Bay [is] the Saudi Arabia of wind energy in the Northeast, and yet we don't really have a process in place to come to grips with that reality," O'Leary told the Energy Committee yesterday.

We will provide updates of the task force's work as it progresses.

Wind Developers Hope to Start Before Tax Credits Expire

It's a race for time to get these turbines up according to this report article entitled Wind Developers Anxious to Get Job Done. (3/28/03). What's the rush for this coastal project by Community Energy which will provide power to an Atlantic City utility? Federal tax credits for wind projects expire if projects are not in operation by December 31, 2003 which make wind projects more economically attractive. Project developers stated they would need to reconsider the project if it is not in operation by the tax credit deadline and if the tax credits are not otherwise extended.

Scotland Commits To Renewables

According to this article,
"Scotland Makes 40 percent renewables committment" (edie.net, 3/28/03), Scotland will aim for supplying 40 percent of its generation needs with renewables. Scotland will pursue a diverse mix of renewables, including offshore and onshore "green" energy. Currently, the article reports that ten percent of Scotland's power comes from renewables, including hydropower.

Financing Issues With Offshore Wind Projects in the UK

This piece discusses the future prospects for financing of offshore wind projects in the UK. The article notes that most of the UK's early offshore wind projects were financed by developers and did not attract much interest by banks because of their small size. However, as the article reports, financing will be needed for the offshore wind industry to expand.

Two potential issues identified by the article which pose potential impediments to financing are project size and the availability of "renewable obligation certificates" (ROC's) To make financing worthwhile, projects must be at least 100 MW in size - and projects in the second round of development may satisfy the size criteria. But financers also remain uncertain as to whether the government will continue to make ROCs (which generate additional income for green energy projects) available and this is also a factor which banks take into account in considering to finance offshore wind.