Maryland Ocean Turbines Seen Powering US Offshore Wind Energy
Original story at Renewable Energy News Article• 3 mentions • 10 months ago
Renewable Energy News Article 10 months ago
The project would power the equivalent of only 61,600 of Maryland's 2.1 million households. However, clean-energy advocates say it could signal the emergence of an industry that has so far been unable to erect a single tower in U.S. waters, giving the project impact beyond its megawatts."You have to start with initial steps, sometimes small steps, and that's what this Maryland bill is," said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network in Takoma Park, Maryland.The project has attracted interest from the U.S. unit of Electricite de France SA and may eventually be linked by an undersea transmission backbone Google Inc. is helping build.Land-based wind farms in the U.S. have surged thanks to federal tax credits and renewable-energy mandates in 29 states. New installations in 2012 added 6,500 megawatts of capacity, exceeding for the first time the potential output of natural gas-powered plants added to the grid last year. Wind produced about 3 percent of all U.S. power in 2011, up from less than 1 percent in 2007, according to the American Wind Energy Association.Offshore wind has been a harder sell. Installing turbines that can withstand harsh maritime environments is more costly than planting them in the middle of a field, said Chris Long, manager of offshore wind and siting policy for AWEA, a Washington-based trade group whose members include General Electric Co. and the U.S. unit of Spain's Iberdrola SA.