Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Olympia Snowe, R-Maine; and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, have introduced legislation to provide critical financial incentives for the investment and production of offshore wind energy.Â
The Carper-Snowe-Brown-Collins Offshore Wind Bill provides the offshore wind industry with enhanced stability by extending production and investment tax credits for offshore wind until 2020. These provisions are vital because of the long lead times required to permit and construct wind turbines offshore, compared to onshore wind energy.Â
Offshore wind includes any wind turbine located in the inland navigable waters of the U.S., including coastal waters and the Great Lakes.
‘Guaranteeing these tax incentives through 2020 will provide companies with the certainty they need to plan for the long term and encourage further development, even in these challenging economic times,’ says Carper. ‘This support will allow companies like NRG Bluewater Wind to continue to invest in clean, stable wind energy off our nation's shores in places like Delaware.’
According to the University of Delaware, the winds off the Atlantic Coast have the potential of generating 330 GW. That is enough power to replace about 300 large coal plants and enough power to support nine states from Massachusetts to North Carolina.
A number of proposed offshore wind projects are moving through the development process – including projects in Delaware, Rhode Island and New Jersey. Projects have also been discussed off the shores of Maine and in the Great Lakes states.Â
In Delaware, NRG Bluewater Wind has estimated it will create 1,200 jobs during construction, as well as and approximately 300 jobs for operation and maintenance throughout the life of the project.Â
Carper, Snowe, Brown and Collins are also working on additional legislative measures to support and expand emerging offshore wind initiatives.Â
SOURCE: Office of Sen. Susan Collins