States Have the Wind at Their Backs in the Offshore Debate

Eastern states advanced their commitment this week to quell the fierce competition around building the nation's first offshore wind farm and cooperate toward creating and pushing a web of ocean-based turbine facilities.  States from Maine to Maryland are exploring ways to share potential infrastructure, like strings of underwater transmission lines, and know-how about siting, permitting and building fields of turbines off their coastlines.

The states met in New Jersey early this week for a clean energy summit, and participants said a main theme emerged: An offshore industry will be created more quickly if they act as a team. That could mean more jobs, local energy in a region that is reliant on borrowed power, and cost savings for a fleet of facilities on the outer continental shelf.

"The states in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions want to be the captains of their own clean energy future," said Mark Sinclair, executive director of the Clean Energy Group, a nonprofit that promotes state renewable power initiatives.  "They don't want transmission to be built from the Great Plains that then dictate that they have to purchase wind and coal from the Midwest," he added. "They realize if they are going to avoid that kind of national transmission approach they need to tap resources in this region, and do it soon."

Click here to read this Climate Wire article on the New York Times website