Thursday, February 03, 2011

Obama administration speaks out in favor of offshore wind power

An Obama administration official announced Tuesday the administration is working to streamline leasing for offshore wind development, a move that could have implications for midwest wind power. "Offshore wind development in the United States has suffered significant delays, most notably the case of the Cape Wind project in Massachusetts, which has been trying to secure the necessary permits for almost a decade," Andrew Restuccia of The Hill reports. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Director Michael Bromwich said that the administration is making offshore renewable energy a "top priority." (Read more)

If the administration follows through on that promise, "Obama is swinging the debate of Atlantic vs. Midwest wind in favor of the eastern seaboard, whose politicians and utilities have recently discovered the joys of offshore wind so much that they now are balking at  helping to pay for the multistate transmission line needed to send wind-generated electricity from Iowa and the Upper Midwest to Chicago and points east," Dan Piller of the Des Moines Register reports on the Green Fields blog. Piller notes Iowa is the second-largest generator of wind electricty in the country and had hoped to export surplus capacity to other states if the trasnmission line was built. (Read more)

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