The U.S. Department of Interior (DOI), announced a Call for Information and Nominations to develop wind on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Wind developers are invited to submit proposals that identify locations within the designated call area where they would seek commercial leases to develop wind energy projects.
The Call area is off the shores of Rhode Island and Massachusetts -- both states agreed to explore offshore wind development in July 2010. The announcement is part of DOI's Smart from the Start initiative. Launched in November of last year, the initiative is a coordinated federal-state effort to speed the siting, leasing and construction process of new offshore wind energy projects.
In February, BOEMRE identified four offshore wind areas in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia and expects to begin the leasing process in those states as early as 2012.
Cape Wind Project -- the first lease for an offshore wind farm in the federal waters of the United States, is now closing in on its construction phase.
The most recent announcement from DOI comes one month after the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power (IWOP) Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate.
This legislation seeks to provide "the offshore wind industry with enhanced stability by extending investment tax credits for the first 3,000 MW of offshore wind facilities placed into service – which is an estimate of 600 wind turbines."
The tax credits are necessary because of the longer lead time needed to permit and construct offshore wind turbines, relative to onshore wind energy. Developers would have five years to install the offshore wind farm after receiving the tax credit. Companies would not be able to receive other production or investment tax credits in addition to the offshore wind investment tax credit, however.
Original article on Energyboom.com