Those of us with an interest in renewable energy have long wondered if offshore wind would ever reach its promise. The knots into which Cape Wind has been tied provide an object lesson – and an abject lesson – in how not to incentivize new technologies. As of now, offshore wind in the United States remains all promise, and no delivery.
Is the future finally around the corner? Two developments this past week at least give the optimists reason to believe. First came news that, according the Siemens, Cape Wind’s turbine supplier, construction has in fact begun, allowing Cape Wind to qualify for the investment tax credit. Time will tell if they have met the requirements to claim the ITC, but since its value to the project is nearly $1B, it would be a substantial boost if that proves to be the case.
Second, BOEM announced publication this week of a Proposed Sale Notice for another wind energy lease, this time off the coast of Maryland. There will be a sixty-day comment period before BOEM can issue a Final Sale Notice. BOEM hopes to hold the lease sale in 2014.
It’s all got to happen sometime, doesn’t it?