Federal Government Opens More Ocean to Wind Projects. #rsrh #unicornflatus

NYTimes Green blog:

Federal Government Opens More Ocean to Wind Projects

“With the right investment and the right timing, Atlantic wind can help power cities from Baltimore to Boston and Savannah, creating tens of thousands of manufacturing and engineering jobs,” Mr. Salazar said, adding that there were a number of developers interested in the leases. “This is not something that’s going to be waiting around.” [Wanna bet? – Ed.]

Offshore wind projects have been popular in other regions but have not moved forward in the United States like onshore projects. There are several projects in various stages of planning or development on the East Coast, including the underwater transmission spine Google is helping to finance, but creating giant wind farms at sea poses so many challenges that it has proved difficult to get projects off the ground.

I keep trying to figure out how the economics of this could possibly work. Any structure in the marine environment requires lots of maintenance. Lots of expensive maintenance, kind of like an oil and gas structure. With natural gas at 10-year lows, wind power must be 10 times more expensive.

I’m sure there will be plenty of talk, and maybe even a project or two. The utilities who would build these things like to keep their regulators happy, and a windmill picture would make a great cover shot for an annual report.

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