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Offshore Wind Momentum Building in the US: A Short Interview

published: 2014-01-20 15:50

Julia Goddard, Director of Green Power Conference, and Jim Gordon, President of Cape Wind, had a talk about offshore wind momentum building in the US ahead of the 5th annual Offshore Wind Power USA in Boston on February 25-26, 2014. They discussed their expectation for US offshore wind industry in 2014.

Julia Goddard: How do you manage expectations of where the US offshore wind industry will be and when and what are the next steps to build volume?

Jim Gordon: The first offshore wind farm built in U.S. waters will be a catalyst for launching this industry and will increase the speed by which the other first projects are built. The Federal Government and the States also have a role to play to incentivize commercial investment in offshore wind. Congress should pass the Carper Bill, which would provide the Investment Tax Credit for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind, this would remove arbitrary dates and would help ensure the U.S. offshore wind industry really takes off.  States can follow Massachusetts' lead and enact energy policies that recognize the unique benefits that offshore wind provides to help build a market for these 'first mover' projects.

Julia Goddard: How can the industry reduce the cost and risk of offshore wind?

Jim Gordon: The first way to reduce costs is to build the first U.S. projects and have them operate successfully, this track record will reduce financing costs for future projects. Scale and standardization will both be important factors in reducing costs long term. Just as the cost of onshore wind turbines and solar panels have fallen with the build out of these industries, the same will be true of offshore wind.   Manufacturers can also increasingly standardize offshore turbines and foundations to further drive down cost.

Julia Goddard: Where will the money come from to secure finance of the scale required? What new sources of finance are there beyond bank debt?

Jim Gordon: Like other types of energy project financing there will be debt and equity players. As more offshore wind projects are financed globally, a successful track record has been established which will attract more capital from more sources.

Information

Offshore Wind Power USA 2014 will feature a 50+ strong, expert speaking faculty including keynote speaker, Tommy Beaudreau, Director at BOEM; Jeff Grybowski, Chief Executive Officer at Deepwater Wind; Peter Davidson, Executive Director at US DoE Department of Loans Office, plus 6 new European case studies. For details and more information, please visit www.offshorewindusa.com.

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