Today the U.S. Department of the Interior has taken the first step for leasing a wind energy project on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) by issuing an initial "Request for Interest" for renewable energy development projects off the coast of Delaware. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 granted the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) the authority to regulate renewable energy development on the OCS and the framework for carrying this out was announced in April 2009. The delegation has been working closely for several years with Delaware officials and the U.S. Department of the Interior on policies to develop offshore wind in federal waters off the coast of Delaware.
"Once again the First State is leading our nation in the development of offshore wind energy," said U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del). "This is a win-win-win for Delaware as we stand to increase good paying jobs, gain energy independence, and help protect our environment by harnessing offshore wind power. I want to thank the Obama Administration and Governor Jack Markell for their leadership on this effort. Bluewater Wind has gone through a competitive process in the state and received a power purchase agreement -- so I hope the federal process will go quickly and we can move into the construction phase. I stand ready to work with them to encourage the development of clean, renewable energy sources."
"As I have said before, the future of the economy lies in clean energy technology," said Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.). "I am proud that Delaware will continue to lead the way in creating clean energy jobs and generating clean, renewable power from our ocean. Today's announcement clears a big hurdle toward developing offshore wind power in Delaware waters. I applaud Secretary Salazar and the Minerals Management Service for their continued efforts to advance offshore wind energy, and I hope they will work to get NRG / Bluewater Wind's project producing power as soon as possible."
"Delaware is poised to be the first in the nation to develop offshore wind energy," said U.S. Representative Rep. Castle (R-Del). "Today's announcement means we are one step closer to capitalizing on this rapidly growing source of clean, domestic, and reliable power for Delawareans, critical for energy independence, the environment, and for new job growth in our state and beyond. I applaud Secretary Salazar and Governor Jack Markell for their commitment to offshore wind. We have worked hard to establish this federal framework, and with the power purchase agreement in place for Bluewater Wind, I look forward to working with all stakeholders to getting Delaware's offshore wind farm built."
The Request for Interest will be published in the April 23, 2010 Federal Register and can be found online at: http://federalregister.gov/inspection.aspx. A map of the area of interest is at: http://www.mms.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/stateactivities.htm#Delaware.