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Making offshore wind happen

American Bluewater Wind has made further progress in its bid to build an offshore project off the Delaware coast. State lawmakers have approved changes to the law governing the value of renewable energy credits (RECs) to make offshore RECs 3.5 times more valuable than the onshore variety. The approval means a price of $117.10/MWh for both the physical electricity and the associated RECs, set out in a power purchase agreement (PPA) between Bluewater and local utility Delmarva Power (Windpower Monthly, July 2008), is supported in law.

Although the agreed price is less than the $121.64/MWh proposed by Bluewater -- and for power generated by just 200 MW of a planned 450 MW -- the 25 year PPA is a critical building block for success. Bluewater will seek further PPAs for the not contracted megawatts with other utilities, all of which are obliged to acquire RECs to show they are complying with Delaware's renewable energy law. Bluewater and other offshore developers are still waiting for federal offshore wind guidelines before they can move ahead on any wind plants.

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