HOUSE SPEAKER ROBERT DELEO on Wednesday made official what his lieutenants have been saying, that the omnibus energy bill scheduled to come up for a vote in April will include provisions to encourage the development of offshore wind power.

“We have the opportunity to launch a new industry that is successful in other parts of the world, right here at home,” said DeLeo in a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. After the speech, the Speaker told reporters he had visited with offshore wind developers from around the world at a two-day conference in Boston this week.

DeLeo said the House legislation would create a competitive procurement process for offshore wind, hydroelectricity, and other renewable forms of energy. He offered no details on how the procurement process would work.

“Project developers will have to demonstrate cost benefits, feasibility, and a guarantee that their power will be delivered during critical times like the terrible winter we experienced last year,” he said.

DeLeo’s announcement rekindles a debate about offshore wind power that took center stage when Deval Patrick was governor. Patrick championed Cape Wind and helped the Nantucket Sound project secure power purchase contracts with the state’s two major utilities. The project nevertheless foundered early last year when Cape Wind was unable to meet deadlines for securing financing for the project.

House officials are pushing for a special set-aside for offshore wind, requiring the state to purchase a set amount of the power. Instead of negotiated power purchase agreements, a handful of developers who have secured rights to tracts far offshore from Martha’s Vineyard would compete against each for the right to fill the set-aside requirement. Cape Wind, once given up for dead, is also angling to compete for the contracts.

The Baker administration’s top priority in the energy legislation is hydroelectricity from Canada, which the Speaker indicated he supported. The governor has shown interest in offshore wind, but aides say any commitment to that power source would hinge on whether the electricity is competitively priced.

DeLeo also said the House will craft legislation dealing with non-compete agreements, which are often used by employers to prevent departing employees from taking inside knowledge to competitors.

“Our goal will be to protect businesses here and improve Massachusetts’s reputation as the premier incubator for talent,” he said. “Our legislation will strike an appropriate balance on non-competes, and create a more desirable environment for both employers and employees.”

DeLeo promised the legislation will limit non-compete agreements to 12 months, require notification of the agreements to employees before they are hired, and not apply to “low-wage workers and those without a voice.”

4 replies on “DeLeo officially backs offshore wind”

  1. Offshore wind energy isn’t viable technologically, or financially, from the public perspective. It must be backed-up by fossil fuel energy sources when the wind doesn’t blow. It is thus a redundant energy source and we would pay twice for it. Rules and regulations are needed to force the public to fund this private industry as the free market has rejected this poor investment.

    Massachusetts shouldn’t be the leader in failure as experienced by the UK. The offshore wind industry is in crisis. And, denial by our legislators shouldn’t be an option.

    Made in Germany (note that workers at Bremehaven offshore wind port in Germany are interviewed)–

    ‘No Wind in Its Sails? Offshore wind farms in crisis’

    “In cities like Bremerhaven, the offshore wind power industry is in crisis. Just a few years ago, the city was
    still drawing major companies like Areva, Weserwind and Powerblades. Nearly 4,000 new jobs were created over a decade. But with orders languishing, the companies are now cutting back.”

    21, 2016

    The Sunday Times

    ‘When the wind blows, there’s little benefit for Scotland’

    “The hype over our offshore farms has failed to match the reality in spectacular
    fashion — and problems are mounting, writes former energy minister Brian Wilson,.”

    ‘Offshore Wind Turbine Maintenance Cost Fiasco: „100 Times More Expensive Than A New Turbine Itself“!’

    By P Gosselin on 2. Februar 2016

    “A press release by Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft reports how offshore North and Baltic Sea wind turbines need to be in operation for 25 years before they become profitable, but that they are prone to shortened lifespans due to rust from the harsh sea environment.

    As a result the wind turbine installations need extra and very costly maintenance to ensure that they
    survive long enough. It’s turning out to be an insurmountable challenge…”

    – See more at:

    ‘Jobs go at Offshore Wind Solutions’

    “German services outfit Offshore Wind Solutions is to cut up to 100 jobs, around one-third of the workforce, as
    part of a restructuring plan.

    “Staff were told in early February that jobs would go following the company’s failure to secure sufficient
    work in the German North Sea.

    A contract to address defects at Bard’s 400MW Bard Offshore 1 project, which started in 2013, is
    now almost over. OWS will continue with regular O&M at the wind farm…”

    ‘Offshore Wind Solutions cuts green jobs by 1/3 (-100) due to lack of work’ Renewable Energy News

    ‘Unreliable Power: Major Technical Failure Sidelines Another Offshore Wind Park…Adding To Exploding Costs’

    By P Gosselin on 4. Februar 2016

    ‘Unreliable Power: Major Technical Failure Sidelines Another Offshore Wind Park…Adding To
    Exploding Costs’

    “I’ve reported earlier on Germany’s BARD 1 offshore engineering fiasco, where technical problems continue plaguing the wind park and has yet to deliver power on shore to reach markets. Even today the
    situation there remains unclear.

    Moreover, just days I ago I reported how an expert institute confirmed that offshore wind park installations are highly vulnerable to the harsh sea conditions and plagued by stratospheric maintenance costs.

    Well there is another major wind park that is now struggling with major technical problems and thus will not be
    able to deliver power until at least (optimistically) April. The giant offshore Riffgat wind park hasn’t delivered power since November of last year, so reports NDR German public broadcasting here…”


    Jan 25, 2016

    Offshore Wind project, Vattenfall, dismantled due to technical and financial problems.

    SeeNews Renewables, February 23, 2015:

    ‘Dong’s Anholt offshore wind farm shuts down due to new cable fault’

    RENEWS Jan 27, 2015: 273 faulty blades must be repaired or replaced after
    only 6 years (Horns Rev 2 offshore wind farm in Denmark)

    RENEWS Dec 29, 2014: Nuon has shut down the nearshore wind farm, Lely, in the
    Netherlands after the rotor head and blades fell off.

    Spiegel: Germany’s Large-Scale Offshore Windpark Dream Morphs Into An
    Engineering And Cost Nightmare

    By P Gosselin on 11. September 2014

    (my summary with quotes)

    Germany’s flagship BARD Offshore I is a 400MW wind project intended to supply the energy needs of 400,000 households. But Bard Offshore 1 remains out of operation according to industry source Offshore Wind Biz

    (June 2014) citing: “frequent technical problems with the converter substation,” “a smoldering fire,” “failure of the system,” “five unplanned outages since the beginning of 2014” and “transmission problems.”

    WindPowerOffshore (September 19, 2014) reports the:

    “Danish company Vattenfall is going to dismantle the Yttre Stengrund in Swedish waters after only 13 years of operation. “Only one in (5) turbines is currently operational.”

    Wall Street Journal [1/08/14]:

    “Siemens, the world’s largest manufacturer of offshore wind turbines, and its partners concede they underestimated the challenges behind offshore wind. The financial fallout from these challenges was highlighted on Thursday, when Siemens said it booked €128 million ($171 million) in new charges related to connecting offshore wind farms to the power grid. It blamed unexpectedly high costs for shipping, installing and starting up grid components.”

    Spiegel International article ‘Turbine Trouble: Ill Wind Blows for German Offshore Industry’ states, “

    Operators of offshore wind farms depend on sufficiently high electricity prices to refinance their investments.”

    CBS 60 Minutes (focus Massachusetts)

    ‘The Great Brain Robbery’

    “Economic espionage sponsored by the Chinese government is costing U.S. corporations hundreds of billions of dollars and more than two million jobs…”

    Publicly-funded & Stolen wind turbine technology installed in MA–

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