Writing in EnergyBiz.com, Bill Opalka reports that Gamesa and a development partner are suspending further development of an offshore wind turbine off the coast of Virginia.
The companies blame the massive amounts of capital needed to pursue a project with a cloudy future due to uncertain federal support.
The move is another indication that without an extension of the federal Production Tax Credit, the wind industry will will continue to suffer.
Since September 2010, Spanish turbine manufacturer Gamesa, with operations in Pennsylvania, has been working with Newport News Shipbuilding to design a 5-MW prototype with plans to erect a test turbine off the mid-Atlantic coast. The design phase is expected to be completed this year.
The collaborative effort has focused on turbine reliability, low maintenance and servicing requirements, civil engineering efficiencies in infrastructure development, and cost of energy. The companies said on May 7 they are approaching the end of the critical design review (CDR) for the turbine.
“An analysis of current conditions indicates that a viable commercial market in the United States is still farther out, as much as three or four years away, at the earliest,” the companies said in a statement, making further investment impractical.
Developers in New England said they don’t expect the news in Virginia to impact their own plans in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. MORE …