George Hagerman (Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium) explained the economic boost for maritime communities as well as the benefits of offshore wind’s security and cost stability for the large U.S. Navy operations based in Virginia. Hagerman presented data from NREL‘s Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study that included a scenario for aggressive development of offshore wind.
Willett Kempton, Director of the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration at the University of Delaware, explained that most of the East Coast’s energy needs could be met with offshore wind power. (Incidentally, offshore wind dwarfs the energy from offshore oil and gas drilling.) Kempton directly confronted the claims by proponents of a wasteful “green superhighway” of massive transmission lines carrying wind power from the upper Midwest to the East Coast.
Lance Miller from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities showed how offshore wind can help New Jersey meet its aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standard of 30 percent renewable energy by 2020. He called for FERC and NERC to require regional transmission organizations like PJM Interconnection to engage in more comprehensive planning. (At present, PJM manages interstate transmission lines and not surprisingly sees building more of them as the solution to most problems — largely ignoring renewables and efficiency in their planning process.)