Bluewater: Rehoboth Wind Farm on Track Despite New Owner - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Michael Lopardi

Bluewater: Rehoboth Wind Farm on Track Despite New Owner

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(Photo: MGN) (Photo: MGN)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Despite Monday's announcement of a new owner, the company designing a wind farm off the coast of Delaware said the project will continue as planned.

On Monday, New Jersey-based NRG Energy announced it had acquired Bluewater Wind for an undisclosed amount of cash. The move provides financial backing for Bluewater after its previous owner, Babcock & Brown and Arcadia Windpower, ran into financial difficulties. On Delmarva, most know NRG as the owner of the Indian River Power Plant near Millsboro.

Rob Propes, a spokesman for Bluewater, said work continues on designing and obtaining permits for a wind farm planned for roughly 13 miles off the coast of Rehoboth Beach. The number of turbines has not been finalized, but could be at least 60 or more. The project is estimated to cost about $1.2 billion with the first turbines possibly erected around 2014, Propes said.

When the wind farm is actually constructed, the average Delmarva Power customer could see an increase of about $1.58 per month on their bill, Delmarva Power spokesman Matt Likovich said.

Bluewater said current President Peter Mandelstam will continue to lead the company and work would continue on designing other projects along the coast.

Bluewater said the next step for the Rehoboth project is to install a meteorological tower off the coast to collect data needed for further design. Installation will likely take place in Summer, 2010, Propes said.

On a conference call Monday, Mandelstam told reporters that the Rehoboth wind farm has seen the most progress out of all the projects in its portfolio and could be the first of its kind in the country.

Gov. Jack Markell said the NRG deal helps position Delaware as the first state in the nation to develop an offshore wind farm.

Propes said talks would also continue with the state of Maryland over possibly designing a similar project off the coast of Ocean City.

NRG president and CEO David Crane said acquiring Bluewater gives NRG an advantage in the potentially lucrative renewable energy market.

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