The $1 billion Cape Wind project, which has been given the go ahead to start construction off the US east coast, could reduce electricity prices for the local region by $7.2 billion over 25 years, according to a report.
The analysis, by economic consultants Charles River Associates, says the 486 MW offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound will displace higher priced polluting fossil fuel generation leading to savings of $286 million per year for ISO New England, the local electric grid operator.
The latest figures are an update to a 2010 report, Analysis of the Impact of Cape Wind on Lowering New England Energy Prices, commissioned by Cape Wind.
Recent power plant retirements and a larger price difference between natural gas and fuel oil have now boosted the potential price savings offered by the project even higher.
“This report makes it clear that Cape Wind will save electric consumers billions of dollars through price suppression while also creating jobs and helping promote cleaner air and greater energy independence,” says Mark Rodgers, Cape Wind’s communications director.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the governors of the states of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania to speed up the development of offshore wind in the Great Lakes.
The MOU will improve collaboration between federal and state agencies to streamline the review process for offshore wind projects.
The two will also develop an action plan setting our priorities and recommendations for developing wind power in the region.
The Great Lakes have the potential to produce over 700 GW of wind power, according to the Department of Energy, and the development of even a fraction of this could create tens of thousands of jobs and generate significant revenue for local businesses.
“This effort will allow us to tap into our abundant offshore resources, enhancing our energy security through an all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy,” said Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman in a statement.
US Senate rejects motion to extend renewables tax credits (15-Mar)
Obama promises to make renewable energy tax breaks permanent (24-Feb)
US gives official go ahead to begin construction of Cape Wind (20-Apr 2011)
First US offshore wind farm gets the go ahead (29-Apr 2010)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/4990/