1,200 MW a start to new offshore wind industry for Massachusetts, New Bedford

Decades from now, residents of Massachusetts may well remember 2016 as the year Massachusetts took the first decisive step into a greener, healthier future.

The Massachusetts Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee on Monday approved a comprehensive energy bill that would require the state’s public utilities to enter long-term contracts with offshore wind power producers to buy 1,200 MW of power. The producers — DONG Energy, Deepwater Wind and Offshore MW — will bid for the right to develop wind farms 15 to 25 miles from Martha’s Vineyard on a huge tract of ocean that is among the most reliably windy places on Earth. The price of that power will be key — both to the bidders and the state’s ratepayers.

The bill is expected to be debated in the House next month while a parallel bill moves through the Senate, after which a final legislation will go to Gov. Charlie Baker for his signature, at which point Massachusetts will become the center of a U.S. offshore wind industry. And New Bedford — with the East Coast’s only marine commerce terminal designed and built to handle the enormous weight and size of wind turbine components and a ready work force and seaport — stands to become the epicenter of a new industry expected to produce thousands of good-paying jobs over the coming decade.

Reaction to the inclusion of 1,200 MW of offshore wind, along with an equal amount of hydro power, was decidedly positive.

“The bill that has emerged represents a good first step to power Massachusetts’ fledgling offshore wind energy industry, while also ensuring the availability and stability of hydroelectric power,” the editorial boards of the Herald News of Fall River and Taunton Gazette wrote in an editorial.

Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson urged the Legislature to increase the amount of offshore wind power required under the final bill.

“The case for renewables in Massachusetts is more urgent than ever. The final bill should up the ante and provide for 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind — the level proposed by Representative Patricia Haddad of Somerset last year.”

News stories appeared in newspapers and on web sites around the nation, coinciding with the unanimous vote by the University of Massachusetts Foundation to become the first major public university to divest its holdings in all fossil fuels.

All in all, it has been a heck of a week.

 

Earth Day: Offshore Wind — Legislature can move Mass. into sustainable future

April 22. 2016 2:01AM

Paul Vigeant
Managing Director of the New Bedford Wind Energy Center

For years, supporters have made a convincing case that offshore wind power can play a central role in scrubbing the air we breathe of millions of tons of carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels.

But in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, which stands to lose more than 10 percent of its electric power production with the closing of obsolete nuclear power and fossil-fuel burning plants, the case for renewable power is as much about delivering large amounts of electricity at competitive pricing as it is about clean air.

That is why a study released March 15 by the University of Delaware Special Initiative on Offshore Wind is so important.

The study focused on Massachusetts, where the Legislature is debating a bill that will shape the state’s energy policy for a generation. The study found that should Massachusetts adopt a requirement that the state’s utilities purchase 2,000 megawatts of power from offshore wind developers over the next decade, the cost of wind-generated power would fall by more than half to a competitive 10.8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh).

That would make the price of offshore wind more than competitive with natural gas and hydroelectric generation — even without the kinds of tax breaks that have been afforded the oil and gas producers and with none of the environmental costs that fossil fuels impose.

Cost has long been the hold-up for offshore wind in Massachusetts. The stalled Cape Wind project would have delivered power at a cost of 24 cents/kWh, a price that both utilities and industrial users balked at. That project appears to be permanently derailed. However, three large wind farm developers hold federal leases on three tracts of ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

The University of Delaware report predicts those developers should be able to deliver power under the initial contract at a rate of 16.2 cents/kWh. By the end of the 2,000-MW build-out a decade later, those costs are predicted to fall to 10.8 cents/kWh.

The same market forces that are driving down the cost of offshore wind power in Europe — such as the efficiencies gained from large-scale production and technological innovation — can be expected to work here. Of course, Europe has a more than 20-year head-start on the United States, and the United Kingdom will be producing power from offshore wind in the 10 cents/kWh range within the next few years.

The U.S. will benefit from what Europe has learned. And as offshore wind developers recognize that the United States, with over 400,000 MW of wind power available off both coasts, is their next great market, they will build factories here to produce the hundreds of components necessary for wind turbine construction, assembly, and deployment. That too will drive down the cost of delivery because those big, heavy pieces will no longer need to be shipped across the ocean for assembly and installation here. And, once installed, those turbines will need to be operated and maintained. Together, that will mean thousands of new jobs right here in Massachusetts as the new industry matures.

The Massachusetts Legislature will vote this session to approve energy legislation that is expected to include offshore wind. With 2,000 MW of offshore wind in the plan, Massachusetts can begin reaping the benefits of industrial scale power production, and lower long-term price stability for ratepayers.

Original Article:

Our View: Offshore wind steps confidently into energy discussion

December 09. 2015 2:01AM

Gov. Charlie Baker has been talking since before his election about the commonwealth’s obligation to provide affordable power to its citizens while reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.

Nuclear and coal generating plants are coming off line over the next couple of years, amplifying the seasonal challenges we face when cold weather consumer demand pulls natural gas away from electricity generation and directs it toward home heating. We’ve no way yet to escape winter price spikes, because any non-fossil source intended to replace the sunsetting of generating plants requires a significant time investment to get beyond land takings, space limitations or industry immaturity in order to create both stability and capacity. Increasing the availability of natural gas — a fossil fuel that burns cleaner than coal or oil — presents financial barriers of a similar scale.

The circumstances that turned 130 turbines from a brilliant vision to a relic in Cape Wind have changed and evolved into those that exist in the Massachusetts energy market today. Three major developers of offshore wind energy are investing and exploring parcels far enough off the coast of Massachusetts to eliminate the objections Cape Cod residents raised against Cape Wind and its near-shore proposal.

Since Cape Wind withdrew so completely from the spotlight when the calendar changed this year, the three established offshore developers have done their best to distinguish their plans from the failed plan. The effort has gained traction. Massachusetts’ members of Congress are clear in their support of offshore wind on a scale to contribute to our energy portfolio. Similarly, members of the Massachusetts Legislature are gradually being enlightened to the promise of renewable offshore wind. Through visits to operating wind farms in Europe, informative rallies and industry outreach, leaders are seeing the light, so to speak.

Newspapers from Fall River to Provincetown, from Quincy to New Bedford, are unanimous in support of the need for intelligent, strategic energy policy that includes offshore wind.

Support continues to grow, from industrial organizations, academic institutions, Chambers of Commerce, local industry and environmental groups. Every day that goes by, the support grows wider and deeper over the map of the Bay State as the value of establishing a beachhead for a homegrown industry sinks in — jobs, prosperity and clean energy will spread far and wide from the center.

Gov. Baker, in recent comments on the development of an energy policy, encouraged legislators who are supporters of offshore wind to include it in their version of the bill. He is a bottom-line decision-maker, offering them a chance to demonstrate the merits.

The governor spoke on energy last week, addressing the annual luncheon of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association. He noted that the role he sees for hydroelectric power from Canada is to stabilize both cost and supply, with other renewables, like solar and wind (onshore or off) responding to demand, despite their intermittent nature.

The strategy is sound, but the momentum in public image the offshore wind industry is enjoying gets a boost as the scope of the potential is communicated more clearly.

The governor is wise to approach energy policy pragmatically and patiently. Today, however, pragmatism requires deep support of a proven industry bursting at the seams to bring competitive electric generation and jobs to Massachusetts.

Offshore Wind Farm Raises Hopes of U.S. Clean Energy Backers

By Diane Cardwell

July 23, 2015

A few miles off the coast of Block Island, part of Rhode Island, a small flotilla has been gathering: crane vessels, tugboats and barges that began this week installing the 1,500-ton foundations of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farm.

It’s a moment that its supporters have long anticipated, billing it as nothing less than the dawn of a new clean energy future for the United States, which lags Europe and China in harnessing ocean gusts for electricity.

It is a much more modest beginning than was originally expected. Only five turbines will spin in the waters off Rhode Island; other, more ambitious projects like Cape Wind in Nantucket Sound and its 130 turbines remain stalled. But its backers see it as one that could lend credibility to other efforts.

“Steel in the water off Block Island is an important step in proving that offshore wind is a viable technology off the coast of the United States,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which oversees leasing federal waters. “Having an offshore wind project that people can see and understand and study will take away a lot of the concerns that folks had.”

A barge carrying pieces of the wind farm’s foundation, which was to be sunk and stabilized in the water. Credit Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

Deepwater Wind, the company that is developing the farm, is pressing ahead. It holds a 30-year lease on a parcel in federal waters nearby — about 256 square miles about 15 miles southwest of Martha’s Vineyard — with room for as many as 250 turbines.

And Ms. Hopper’s agency is pressing on with efforts to create a market. It sold two leases off the coast of Massachusetts in January, plans to sell more near New Jersey by the end of this year and has begun identifying potential sites in the Carolinas.

But policy experts and business executives warn that without stable subsidies and mandates — and coordination among the states — offshore wind development will be limited to a few small demonstration projects. Along with Cape Wind, projects are stalled near Delaware, New Jersey and New York.

How far and fast the market develops depends, analysts and experts say, on how strong of a commitment the country makes to renewable energy in general.

“There are many good reasons why offshore wind has not been yet developed while other renewables have in the U.S.,” chiefly its high cost, said Paul Bledsoe, an energy consultant based in Washington and former climate adviser in the Clinton White House. “However, we’re still at a point where we have less than 10 percent renewable energy and if we are going to increase that number dramatically to somewhere near some of the major European countries, offshore wind will almost surely be part of that mix.”

That will take time. When the first offshore farm was built, in Denmark in 1991, developers were not thinking that it would suddenly become a mainstream form of energy, said Michael Hannibal, chief executive of the offshore division at Siemens Wind Energy, which supplied the turbines for that first plant. It took about a decade of testing and planning — and putting in place a set of programs and generous subsidies — for the market to begin taking off in Europe.

Part of what has driven the higher rate of adoption — especially in Britain, Denmark and Germany — is that Europe lacks as many cheap, clean (or cleaner) alternatives that can replace coal, diesel and nuclear plants. Electric rates are generally higher, natural gas is more expensive and open land for wind and solar fields is harder to find than in the United States, making an expansion to the seas more economically viable.

In the United States, the industry has been hampered by local opposition, fluctuating subsidies and a lack of specialized suppliers and expertise.

Offshore wind projects take a long time to plan and construct because they are more complicated and demand larger equipment that must function in the hostile environment of the high seas, said George Favaloro, a managing director in PricewaterhouseCoopers sustainable business solutions practice. The obstacles are surmountable, he said, but that would take an expectation that the industry will take off.

“We’re having a hard time making all that happen, frankly, because we’re rich in alternative sources of energy and rich in alternative sources of renewable energy,” he said. “It’s sort of a specialized set of circumstances now where this would be an attractive investment.”

That was what Block Island offered. Like many islands, its power prices are high because it is not connected to the mainland grid and depends on diesel for its electricity, and the state undertook an extensive planning process before designating the energy zone. With strong support from three governors over the seven years that Deepwater Wind, the developer, has worked on the project, it is about to come to fruition, said Jeffrey Grybowski, the chief executive.

The first of the foundations should be hitting the water this week, he said — although that process has been delayed by rough seas — and that will continue for the next eight weeks until all five are in, anchored by piles driven 200 feet into the ocean floor.

The turbines will not go in until next summer, although they are already under construction. The blades are sitting in a field in Denmark while the towers and nacelles are being put together.

He and others expressed optimism that the industry would get going, but added that it was important to have a project up and running to show not only policy makers but also utility executives and regulators that it was possible to get one through the permitting and financing process.

After so many failures, he said, to get the industry going, “We need a success.”

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Offshore wind makes more sense than hydro

By Miles Grant, National Wildlife Federation

July 12, 2015

The National Wildlife Federation welcomes Gov. Charlie Baker’s commitment to meet the goals of the commonwealth’s critical Global Warming Solutions Act. The imperative of taking action to protect people and wildlife from the dangers of climate change cannot be understated. With 2015 on an early pace to be the hottest year on record and June ranking as America’s second-warmest ever, we’re getting an urgent reminder of why we need large sources of clean energy to replace dirty and expensive fossil fuels.

The commonwealth has a massive, local clean energy opportunity ready to meet this challenge. Far off our coast, over the horizon, lies an area already designated by the federal government for wind development that contains a world-class energy resource.

NWF stands with business, labor and other community leaders that see the enormous economic growth opportunity in building offshore wind power. Massachusetts needs an energy strategy that drives innovation, prioritizes good paying jobs, and ensures our hard earned energy dollars are invested locally rather than in out-of-state and out-of-country energy companies that do little for our communities. Three companies have secured leases and are ready to move projects forward that would bring tremendous economic and environmental benefits to the commonwealth, the missing link is a commitment to buy the power.

Jobs: Deepwater Wind’s small five-turbine project off of Block Island is under construction, already creating hundreds of jobs out of Quonset, R.I. This and other projects will sustain dozens of long-term careers across a broad range of sectors. The state that commits to long-term market for offshore wind power will have huge advantages in getting the supply chain and manufacturing opportunities that come with it. Now is the moment to secure this critical hub status. Just think about how many jobs would be created in ports like New Bedford and across the entire SouthCoast if Massachusetts committed to offshore wind power. How many jobs will be created by sending our money to Canada for more hydro-power?

Price: While Massachusetts homes paid about 17 cents a kilowatt hour for electricity in 2014, Deepwater Wind expects projects developed far off the coast to be priced “in the low teens.” Just as computers and smart phones have plunged in price while skyrocketing in capacity, each generation of new clean energy technology becomes more efficient at harvesting renewable resources, attracts additional capital and spurs competition, further driving down costs. Right now, Massachusetts sends $18 billion (80 percent of our energy dollars) every year out of state to buy energy. Imagine how many jobs we could create by keeping that money here?

Rate spikes: Diversifying our energy mix with offshore wind is critical for protecting ratepayers from price spikes in the volatile fossil fuel markets. Offshore wind is an energy source that produces at high capacity during those expensive times when our electricity grid is most challenged — afternoons, hot summer days and winter cold snaps.

We welcome Gov. Baker’s commitment to continue transitioning the commonwealth to a low-carbon economy — and there is a strong economy-wide return on investment waiting for us in made-in-Massachusetts offshore wind power. Offshore wind is by far America’s largest untapped energy source, with enough energy to power over 5 million homes in already-designated areas off the East Coast.

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The Clean Energy States Alliance commends Massachusetts for solar, wind projects

By Kathleen McKiernan

July 1, 2015

NEW BEDFORD — A national nonprofit working to advance clean energy has commended Massachusetts as a leader in the industry, particularly solar energy.

“Massachusetts has clearly been a leader in clean energy,” said Warren Leon, executive director at The Clean Energy States Alliance. “It’s hard to find another state where there is a multifaceted approach to helping support business.”

With its major research universities, active venture capital community and new energy technologies, Leon said it is not a surprise Massachusetts is an industry leader.

In 2014, the clean energy industry had more than 6,000 companies, according to CESA.

CESA highlighted Massachusetts in its recently released report that looks at ways in which individual states are advancing clean energy. It highlights 31 case studies of state programs that have been implemented around the country. CESA works with state leaders, federal agencies, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop and promote clean energy technologies and markets. This is the organization’s first report highlights efforts by states to advance clean energy projects.
The nonprofit sees the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center as integral to the state’s success as the agency pursues a broad, multifaceted approach to building the industry.

Since its creation in 2009, MassCEC provides investments to startup companies, energy rebates for residents and businesses and supports local development of a clean energy workforce, CESA said.

“We have seen a significant amount of growth in the clean energy sector in Massachusetts over the last four to five years,” said Jeremy McDiarmid, senior director for the Massachusetts CEC. “It’s becoming an important component of the overall economy.”

McDiarmid said the industry contributed to $10 billion in gross state product and employs 100,000 people.

“What makes Massachusetts stand out is the some of the success we had on economic development front and being able to track the growth of the industry,” he said.

MassCEC continuously looks at new technology and trends in the industry and works with the industry to develop programs, McDiarmid said.

Down the line, MassCEC will look at clean heating and cooling technology using solar hot water and clean biomass and implement programs that are affordable to low and moderate income households, he said.

In New Bedford, the city has negotiated 11 solar power and wind power agreements, which are projected to save the city roughly $30 million over the next 20 years in utility costs, according to the city’s Energy Office. Most recently, the city has negotiated a 20-year power purchase agreement with Con Edison Solutions for the Future Generation Wind Project in Plymouth. The project provides a 25 percent discount from the current Eversource electricity price. The city is expected to save about $7 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years and about $200,000 in the first year.

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America Is Finally Getting Serious About Offshore Wind

By Taylor Hill

May 1, 2015

Eighteen miles off the coast of Rhode Island, the first offshore wind farm in the United States is finally under construction—seven years after it was originally proposed.

Deepwater Wind will initially install five turbines, which the company expects to be operational by the end of 2016. The wind farm will generate enough electricity to power 17,000 homes.

That’s not going to make a big dent in even the smallest state’s power supply, but it is a positive shift for the country’s oft-troubled offshore wind energy industry.

Compared with Europe’s 2,300-plus turbines and their 29 million megawatt-hours of energy production a year, it’s clear the U.S. isn’t leading the field in offshore renewable energy.

But it’s not for a lack of trying. According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are 11 offshore projects in various stages of development in 10 states.

Boston-based Cape Wind is planning to build one of the biggest wind farms, a 130-turbine project off the coast of Massachusetts. But financing issues and protests from residents delayed the start of construction for years.

Still, 2016 could be the year of wind for the United States.

“Once Deepwater Wind’s project gets built, that will be an important inflection point,” Kit Kennedy, a renewable energy expert at the National Resources Defense Council, told The Associated Press. “We will have a solid framework in place for leasing and siting offshore wind projects, and we’re going to see this industry move forward now.”

Deepwater has bigger plans in the works, with a 200-turbine farm planned in the 742,000-acre Massachusetts Wind Energy Area marked by federal officials for offshore wind farm development. If the area is ever fully developed, it could produce enough electricity to power 1.4 million homes.

But there’s a lot of ground to make up if the U.S. hopes to catch up to Europe on the wind front.

Europe’s total wind-powered energy production now supplies more than 10 percent of the continent’s energy demand.

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A Major Global Offshore Wind Developer May Come To Massachusetts

By Peter Kelly-Detwiler

April 7, 2015

Despite the well-publicized setbacks of Cape Wind, U.S. offshore wind is beginning to feel a little bit more real with each passing day. In fact, just over a month ago Deepwater Wind announced it had completed the $290 million financing of its proposed 30-MW (five 6MW Alstom Haliade turbines) Block Island windfarm. That makes it official on paper.

But if one were to walk through the fabrication facilities of Alstom in Denmark, it would likely feel even more real: all fifteen of the 241 foot blades have already been completed and are ready for installation. To put that size into perspective, the 150 meter (492 foot) diameter of the rotor would dwarf the Statue of Liberty (at 305 feet). Meanwhile, in Louisiana, Gulf Island Fabrication is working on the five steel jacket foundations that will anchor the turbines to the ocean floor. If all goes to plan, the ‘steel in the water’ foundations will be installed this summer and the project will go live sometime in the fall.

So Deepwater Wind has taken a huge first step. But it represents only one move towards fully exploiting the far offshore deepwater resource, where thousands of megawatts of wind may potentially be harvested. Those opportunities will require even more capital and know-how.

Thus, the announcement today that the experienced and well-capitalized Danish group Dong Energy is buying the rights to over 1,000 megawatts of potential offshore project rights from RES Americas may be just what the industry may need to help it take the next step. These wind turbines would be located about 55 miles off the Massachusetts coast.

When it comes to offshore wind, Dong is a serious and seasoned player, and the biggest name in the game. It has its fingerprints on many of the largest offshore undertakings in the world. The company has completed major projects in Denmark, Germany, and the U.K., with 2,500 MW installed as of the end of 2014. It has developed more offshore wind than anybody else – about a third of the global total to date. Its goal is to increase that number by more than two-and-a half times 2020.

If approved by the U.S. Bureau of Offshore Energy Management, this would represent Dong’s first step outside of Europe. The move from vision to reality almost always takes a while. And as the Cape Wind experience has shown, it can be fraught with difficulties and mis-steps. But if anybody can pull off an undertaking of this magnitude, Dong is certainly a very strong candidate.

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Wind power’s future depends on thinking smaller

By Derrick Z. Jackson

March 29, 2015

THE KILLING of Cape Wind brings US offshore wind power back to where it probably should have started: small.

At 130 turbines and 468 megawatts — enough to power 200,000 homes — Cape Wind would have been an ocean wind farm on the same scale of those in Europe. It was paralyzed by selfish and powerful people who feared the views from their seaside mansions would be ruined. With about two dozen lawsuits, they were able to litigate the project into something that became too big to not fail. The Cape Wind project effectively collapsed during the winter, when it missed deadlines for financing, resulting in the termination of its power-purchasing agreements and a lease to use the new port terminal in New Bedford built by the state to handle massive turbine pieces.

Now, with no other large projects fully funded, a major US offshore wind farm will not be built until around 2020, at the earliest. But much has happened since Cape Wind was first proposed in 2001. Then, it was the holy grail for environmentalists in search of wind power. Today, there are several nascent efforts underway that should make it much easier for offshore wind to gain broad-based acceptance.

Providence-based Deepwater Wind recently secured financing for a long-planned 5-turbine, 30-megawatt pilot project three miles off Block Island. The turbines should be spinning by summer 2016. Deepwater Wind chief executive Jeff Grybowski said the project will allow people to “see it, feel it, touch it, and take offshore wind from theory to reality.” To best assure public acceptance, Deepwater Wind scaled back original plans calling for eight turbines to minimize “visual impacts, bottom disturbance, and other potential environmental effects.”

In addition, the Obama administration is supporting offshore pilot projects of similar size off the coasts of Virginia, New Jersey, and Oregon. Deepwater Wind has a stake in the Oregon project. For those mourning the death of Cape Wind, remember that Germany’s offshore program, now 258 turbines strong, began with a 12-turbine project just five years ago. The United Kingdom’s 1,300 turbines began with a two-turbine pilot in 2000.

Offshore wind flourishes in Europe because of environmental policies that encourage public and private investments in renewables. In the US, even the idea of federal tax credits for renewables has failed to gain traction.

That leaves it up to states to act. In Massachusetts, Somerset representative Patricia Haddad filed a bill in January requiring utilities to enter into enough offshore wind contracts by 2030 to exceed the power capacity of four Cape Winds. The action is in response to legislation that died last year that would have brought enough large-scale hydroelectric power down from Canada to possibly wipe out offshore wind development and the jobs it could bring.

Haddad wasn’t always a wind warrior. For years, she supported the once-lucrative Brayton Point coal plant in her district. “We like our taxes low and our air dirty,” she used to joke. But with the plant scheduled to close in 2017, Haddad now says Brayton Point’s transmission infrastructure could be repurposed to bring in electric cables from ocean wind turbines.

Haddad’s bill is likely to face stiff resistance from critics who say offshore wind remains too embryonic an industry to earn such a clean-energy carveout while hydro and onshore wind from Maine may be more readily available. A report published last month by the national Clean Energy Group and Navigant Consulting said the only way offshore wind can be cost competitive is for Northeast states to band together. That way, they could better bargain with the utilities that would buy wind-generated electricity, lower construction costs, and streamline permitting.

Stephanie McClellan, director of the University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, said the report’s recommendations make sense. “No state in the US has a comprehensive wind policy to bring in projects at the scale of Europe and at costs ratepayers believe in,” she said at a recent offshore wind conference in Boston.

There are signs of offshore wind interests uniting. Three firms — including Deepwater — hold leases in federal waters farther out to sea than the Cape Wind site, and have formed an alliance called Offshore Wind Massachusetts LLC. The group says it will work with legislators, universities, industry and labor groups to pool resources to speed the planning of large-scale wind farms.

Also, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island last month said they were teaming up to request proposals for large-scale clean energy projects. Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said the partnership would “procure renewable sources of energy in the most cost-effective way possible.”

Whether such a partnership will include offshore wind is unclear. But there is a sense that it can still grow into a major industry. Jim Lanard, former president of the Offshore Wind Developers Coalition, said the United States can learn from 20 years of mistakes and innovations, allowing American wind farm builders to “get to the economies of scale of large projects faster than Europe.”

That, of course, will depend on the scale of cooperation.

 

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New Poll Finds 73 Percent of Voters Support Crucial Tax Policy for Wind

25 November 2014 by Shauna Theel

construction_workers_american_flagA new poll found that wide majorities of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support keeping the renewable energy Production Tax Credit, the key federal policy support mechanism for wind energy.

The Gotham Research Group poll found 73 percent of registered voters support continuing the Production Tax Credit (PTC), including 63 percent of registered Republicans, 74 percent of Independents, and over 71 percent overall in all regions of the country.

This poll is consistent with previous surveys. A USA TODAY poll in December 2013 similarly found that 73 percent of Americans support continuing tax incentives for renewable energy.

usatodayPOLL

So here’s who you have on the side of the PTC:

  • Hundreds of U.S. businesses who know that wind energy is a smart economic choice
  • Farmers who know that wind energy can help landowners get by
  • Steelworkers and other manufacturing workers who know that wind energy provides high-paying jobs for Americans
  • Major conservation and environmental groups who know that clean wind energy avoids pollution that harms humans and wildlife
  • And 73 percent of American voters with widespread support across party lines and across the country

And here’s who you have opposing it:

  • The Koch brothers

It’s no wonder that the Koch brothers have had to create a series of front groups in order to feign the appearance of widespread support.

Special interest groups shouldn’t be able to trump the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans, no matter how much money they spend.

Tell your elected representatives that you agree with 73 percent of Americans that the renewable energy Production Tax Credit should be extended.

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