The mostly highly publicized offshore wind farm in the U.S. is undoubtedly Cape Wind, which was finally approved for construction in Cape Cod after a decade-long battle and the protestations of wealthy NIMBYs and grumpy Kennedys. But it still has a ways to go before it will be going online -- and it looks like another 12 megawatt project in Texas will swoop in and grab the distinction of being the nation's first offshore wind farm.
Here's Renewable Energy World:
Texas has pulled ahead in the final stretch of getting the nation's first offshore wind farm and will win the race against long-announced project, Cape Wind. After achieving a major milestone in 2010 with more than 10,000 MW of installed onshore wind energy capacity, the state will now erect the first offshore production wind turbines in the U.S. this year off the coast of Galveston. The 12 MW project must clear one final hurdle in obtaining a Purchasing Power Agreement, but with all the designs and permits already in hand, the installation could go up as soon as late 2011.So by the end of the year, there could be a sizable wind farm just off the coast of Galveston, setting the precedent for a sector that should have gotten a jump start long ago. One interesting side note to the story of how a small project in Texas has quietly vaulted past the major one in a liberal east coast state, according to REW, is that:
"Offshore wind has undoubtedly benefited from the state's distinctive business environment. With stable, long-term policies, and its own transmission network, Texas offers unrivaled business opportunities for the offshore wind industry."
Stable, predictable long-term policies (tax rebates, etc) are, of course, what we need on a national level to encourage similar projects elsewhere.