November 29, 2010 - Cape Wind follow-up

Monday, November 29, 2010

In the wake of the Massachusetts DPU's approval of the Cape Wind contract with National Grid, interest in offshore wind technologies is growing.  Under the deal, National Grid will buy half of Cape Wind’s output for a price that starts at 18.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, with a 3.5% annual escalator in each of the 15 contract years.

Today Motley Fool ran a piece noting potential winners from an increased belief that offshore wind is feasible and soon to be here.  These winners include turbine manufacturers Vestas and Broadwind, as well as General Electric and Siemens.  American Superconductor is pursuing technology to maximize the "power per tower" from offshore wind; its SeaTitan turbines are slated to produce more than 10 MW per turbine.

And don't forget my favorite search engine (though increasingly their business model relies on consumers seeing them as more than that): Google has already made the news for its involvement in energy markets. Now Google is investing in the underwater transmission lines needed to transmit power from offshore wind turbines to the mainland. Specifically, Google is eyeing a 350-mile line from Virginia to New Jersey, and may be interested in further projects to connect offshore generation to the onshore grid.

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