NRG offshore wind farm impacted by lack of federal funds

NRG Bluewater Wind is delaying construction of a meteorological tower off Delaware's coast, saying a planned 200 MW offshore wind farm is endangered by cuts in federal renewable energy funding, according to local news reports.

The planned wind farm would put between 49 and 150 turbines about 13 miles off the Delaware coast. Bluewater is under a 25-year purchase agreement with Delmarva Power & Light Co. to begin producing power by 2016.

The delay reportedly results from Congress' decision in April to eliminate most new funding for two loan guarantee programs used to finance renewable energy projects, along with the future expirations of tax and investment credits for wind power. Eliminating the loan guarantee funding was part of the move to avert a government shutdown, the article said.

Those federal actions have "injected considerable uncertainty into the financing for and viability of all U.S. offshore wind projects," Dave Gaier, NRG spokesman, was quoted as saying. "But we remain committed to the project and are just slowing down our momentum until we have a clearer picture of the future."

Bluewater Wind signed its contract with Delmarva Power three years ago. NRG (NYSE:NRG) bought the Bluewater Wind company from Babcock & Brown and Arcadia Windpower in 2009, saying that federal support would be “crucial” to finance the project.

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