Japanese bank to fund first U.S. offshore wind farm
Not having a section devoted to cures for insomnia, Gizmag tends to pass over press releases about investment agreements. Tuesday's announcement that the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) is to find somewhere in the order of US$ 2 billion for the Cape Wind is extremely interesting, however, as it means the U.S. should finally build its first offshore wind farm, with construction slated to commence before the year's end.
The Cape Wind project, which should now see the construction of some 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound, a patch of the Atlantic Ocean to the south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The farm is expected to have an installed capacity (essentially the maximum theoretical output) of 468 MW. This would put the Cape Wind farm firmly up there with the largest offshore farms in existence, though several, much larger still, have been proposed for Northern Europe and East Asia.
It's claimed that Cape Wind will provide three quarters of the electricity demand of the Cape and Islands region of southeast Massachusetts. It's intended that the turbines will be located at Horseshoe Shoal, several miles off the Cape Cod coast. The project has already been signed off by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Strictly speaking, BTMU is facilitating debt for the $2.6 billion project, the actual investment likely to come from a variety of outside sources.
A report in Cape Cod Online suggests that Cape Wind isn't in the bag quite yet. Some $600 million in equity. Siemens Energy Inc., which will provide the turbines, and the U.S. Department of Energy are thought to be likely sources.