Sale jumpstarts floating, offshore wind power in US waters
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Tuesday marks the first-ever US auction of leases to develop commercial-scale floating wind farms, in the deep waters off the West Coast.
The live, online auction for the five leases — three off California’s central coast and two off its northern coast — has attracted strong interest and 43 companies from around the world have been approved to bid. The wind turbines will float roughly 25 miles offshore.
The growth of offshore wind comes as climate change intensifies and the need for clean energy grows. It also is getting cheaper. The cost of developing offshore wind has dropped 60% since 2010 according to a July report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. It declined 13% in 2021 alone.
Offshore wind is well established in the UK and some other countries but is just beginning to ramp up off America’s coasts, and this is the nation’s first foray into floating wind turbines. Auctions so far have been for those anchored to the seafloor.
Europe has some floating offshore wind — a project in the North Sea has been operating since 2017 — but the potential for the technology is huge in areas of strong wind off America’s coasts, said Josh Kaplowitz, vice president of offshore wind at the American Clean Power Association.
“We know that this works. We know that this can provide a huge slice of our our electricity needs, and if we’re going to solve the climate crisis we need to put as many clean electrons online as we can, particularly given increases in load demand with electric vehicles,” he said. “We can reach our greenhouse gas goals only with offshore wind as part of the puzzle.”
Similar auctions are in the works off Oregon’s coast next year and in the Gulf of Maine in 2024. President Joe Biden set a goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030 using traditional technology that secures wind turbines to the ocean floor, enough to power 10 million homes. Then the administration announced plans in September to develop floating platforms that could vastly expand offshore wind in the United States.
The nation’s first offshore wind farm opened off the coast of Rhode Island in late 2016, allowing residents of small Block Island to shut off five diesel generators. Wind advocates took notice, but with five turbines, it’s not commercial scale.
Globally, as of 2021, there were only 123 megawatts of floating offshore wind operating, but that number is projected to increase to nearly 19 gigawatts — 150 times more — by 2030, according to a report last week by Offshore Wind California.
The California sale is designed to promote a domestic supply chain and create union jobs. Bidders can convert part of their bids into credits that benefit those affected by the wind development — local communities, tribes and commercial fishermen.
As envisioned, the turbines — possibly nearly as tall as the Eiffel Tower — will float on giant triangular platforms roughly the size of a small city block or buoyant cylinders with cables anchoring them underwater. They’ll each have three blades longer than the distance from home plate to the outfield on a baseball diamond, and will need to be assembled onshore and towed, upright, to their open-ocean destination.
Modern tall turbines, whether on or offshore, can produce more than 20 times more electricity than shorter machines, say, from the early 1990s.
As for visibility, “in absolutely perfect conditions, crystal clear on the best days, at the highest point, you might be able to see small dots on the horizon,” said Larry Oetker, executive director of the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Conservation and Recreation District, which has been preparing its deep-water port for the projects.
Offshore wind is a good complement to solar energy, which shuts down at night. Winds far out to sea are stronger and more sustained and also pick up in the evening, just when solar is going offline yet demand is high, said Jim Berger, a partner at the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright who specializes in financing renewable energy projects.
California has a 2045 goal of carbon neutrality. But “when the sun goes down we’re relying more on fossil fuel generation,” Berger said. “These projects are huge so when you add a project or a couple of projects, you’re adding significantly to the power generation base in the state,” he said.
The lease areas have the potential to generate 4.5 gigawatts of energy — enough for 1.5 million homes — and could bring big changes to communities in the rural coastal regions nearest the leases.
In remote Humboldt County, in northern California, the offshore projects are expected to generate more than 4,000 thousand jobs and $38 million in state and local tax revenue in an area that’s been economically depressed ever since the decline of the timber industry in the 1970s and 1980s , according to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Conservation and Recreation District.
The district already received $12 million from California to prepare its deep-water port for the potential assembly of the massive turbines, which are too tall to fit under most bridges as they are towed out to sea, said Oetker, the district’s executive director.
“We have hundreds of acres of vacant, underutilized industrial property right on the existing navigation channel … and there’s no overhead bridges or power lines or anything,” he said.
But some are also wary of the projects, despite favoring a transition to clean energy.
Environmentalists are concerned about the impacts on threatened and endangered whales, which could become entangled in the cables that will anchor the turbines. There are also concerns about birds and bats colliding with the turbine blades and whales getting struck by vessels towing components to the site. Federal regulators have set a boating speed limit for the project of less than 12 mph to address that concern, said Kristen Hislop, senior director of the marine program at the Environmental Defense Center.
“Floating offshore wind is brand new and there’s only a couple projects in the world and we don’t know how that’s going to impact our coast,” she said.
Tribes in the vast coastal regions also worry about damage to their ancestral lands from turbine assembly plants and transmission infrastructure. They fear that the farms will be visible on clear days from sacred prayer spots high in the mountains.
Frankie Myers, vice chairman of the Yurok Tribe, has attended four wind developer conferences in the past year. Tribes worked with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which is overseeing the leasing process, to secure a 5% bid credit that includes tribal communities for the first time, he said. The agency also helped with a cultural assessment of the potential impact on views from sacred prayer spots, he said.
The tribes are so engaged now, early on, because they are used to outside industries coming to them with promises that aren’t fulfilled. They’ve seen things done wrong, and knowing this windswept area intimately, they want this to be done right, he said.
“Before they even showed us the map, before they even showed us all of their breakdowns … we were like, ‘We know exactly where it’s going,'” Myers said. “There’s no question where the best wind comes from, we all understand that. We’ve been here for a couple of thousand years.”
Follow Gillian Flaccus on Twitter here.
Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative here. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
Comparing Car Insurance Sites: Who Comes Out on Top?
Do you already know which car insurance site you want to go with? Or are you more interested in comparing the available options and picking the best deal from your options? Either way, there are plenty of great sites out there that can help you get the protection you need at an affordable price, so take some time to research and compare your options today. You’ll be glad that you did!
There are many car insurance comparison websites to choose from. It’s important to do your homework before picking one. The first thing to look for is if the company offers the same level of coverage that you need. For example, if you have an older car, it might not be worth paying for comprehensive and collision coverage.
Other factors that should be considered when choosing a company are customer service availability, price, credit score requirements, and discounts offered. Also, consider how quickly they will pay out in case of a claim. Finally, consider what other services they offer besides car insurance like renter’s or homeowner’s policies.
Many factors go into determining the cost of your car insurance premium. These include your driving record, marital status, credit score, and even where you live. If you have a good record as a driver, marry later in life and live in a low-risk area with low crime rates, you might pay less for car insurance than someone who has a poor driving record or lives in an area with high crime rates. For instance, let’s say that person A is married and has never been convicted of a DUI or DWI, but person B is divorced with one conviction for DUI. The most expensive company for person A would be USAA at $2,381/year while the cheapest would be USAA at $1,010/year. For person B though, the most expensive company would be GEICO at $3175/year while the cheapest would be USAA at $990/year.
Geico is a customer service-oriented company and has a rating of 7.9 out of 10 according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Geico’s customer service centers are open 24/7 so they can answer your questions whenever you need them, and their representatives are always available to help you with your insurance needs. For example, if you’re looking for coverage during an emergency road trip but don’t know which state requires proof of auto insurance before it will grant an entry permit, then all you have to do is call Geico and a representative will provide the information.
Geico also allows customers to file claims by phone or over its website, simplifying what would be a cumbersome process for most other companies.
Many car insurance sites offer discounts to seniors, students, members of the military, and more. The best way to get a good deal is to compare prices across different sites. When comparing rates, it’s important to take into account deductible amounts as well as other factors that can make one site cheaper than another for your needs. For example, if you’re looking for comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible, then you would need to go through each site’s offerings in order to find which company has the cheapest rate at that level of coverage. If you’re interested in liability-only coverage with a $250 deductible, then finding the right company could be easier.
The decision really comes down to what type of coverage or policy type you are after. If you want comprehensive insurance or full protection, going with an independent agent may be worth your while as they may be able to provide options not offered by an online comparison site.
Value vs. Cost
When deciding which site is the best for your car insurance needs, it is important to look at both value and cost. For example, one site might offer good coverage but with a high monthly premium. This would be a great option if you were looking for comprehensive coverage that comes with an expensive deductible. On the other hand, another site might offer less coverage but at a much lower price point. If you are interested in liability-only or liability and collision coverage, this would be a better fit for you. However, make sure you know exactly what your needs are before committing to anything! You can compare rates between sites by using our handy comparison tool (see link below) or you can call them directly and ask about their rates. Also, always check with your employer to see if they have discounts through any of these companies!
Check out our infographic
Are you in the market for car insurance? If so, you’re probably looking at a few different comparison sites. And while they may all seem to be the same, there are actually quite a lot of differences between them. For example, some only offer quotes from one company, while others are more like an aggregator that collects information from many sources. We created this infographic to help you figure out which car insurance site is best for your needs! There are too many options and it can feel overwhelming when comparing prices. Check out our infographic to find out who offers the most features or cheapest rates! The infographic compares six car insurance companies, including direct insurers such as Allstate and GEICO, as well as third-party providers such as CompareTheMarket, Coverhound, and MoneySupermarket. Click here to see the full graphic now.
10 Reasons Why You Should Consider an Online Business Degree
For many people, the idea of attending college and earning an actual degree in their chosen field of study isn’t very appealing. Not only do they have to deal with the time commitment and taking on mountains of debt, but they also have to physically attend classes every day. Fortunately, with online business degree programs, there’s no need to worry about all that nonsense. You can get all the advantages of a traditional college degree without any of the hassles or inconvenience that usually comes with it!
1) A new way to learn
Online learning has come a long way in the past few years. With online degrees, students can complete their education at their own pace and on their own schedule. Plus, with many online degree programs being accredited, it’s now easier than ever to get started in earning your degree without committing to a location.
2) Getting hands-on experience with virtual classes
Virtual classes are a great way to gain practical business experience without ever leaving your home. This allows you to work around your schedule, which is especially helpful if you have a full-time job. These classes will also allow you to explore different topics and subjects that might be outside of your comfort zone, which can broaden your knowledge base and give you the opportunity to learn something new.
3) Learning time flexibility
Online courses are usually self-paced, which means you can take them whenever it’s most convenient for you. This gives you the ability to take a course and study at your own pace, making it more manageable and freeing up time for other responsibilities in your life. In addition, because they’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, online courses are available when you need them most – even if that means late at night or early in the morning before work.
4) Ability to learn on your own terms
For many people, the idea of getting a degree is daunting. They’ve had to go through the process of applying for schools, taking out student loans, and dealing with all the pressure that comes along with such a big decision. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it that way anymore. With online business degree programs accredited by respected universities like Penn State University and the University of North Texas, you can learn on your own terms from home or office, at your own pace. And what’s more?
5) Gain valuable, real-world experience in a classroom setting
In addition to gaining valuable, real-world experience in a classroom setting, students enrolled in online degree programs are eligible to take on internships and earn college credits. And as the number of colleges offering online degrees continues to rise, so too does the number of opportunities available to today’s graduates.
6) Understanding all areas of business operations
It’s important to learn how to think and make decisions like a business owner. This is one of the most valuable skills you can have. With an online business degree, you’ll be able to take courses in accounting, marketing, management, leadership, and more. These courses can help you understand all aspects of operating a business like hiring employees, negotiating contracts, and creating budgets.
7) Variety of business degree programs are offered online
We understand that you may be hesitant to enroll in a business degree program without first talking to a representative. We can help set your mind at ease by providing the following benefits of our online business degree programs:
-A variety of courses available (e.g., accounting, finance, marketing)
-A range of course lengths (e.g., one-semester vs.
8) The convenience factor
Online classes allow you to access your courses from any computer with the internet. This means that you can study from home, the office, or even on a plane. Plus, online courses are often more affordable than traditional university programs. If you have limited funds and don’t want to take out loans, this is a perfect solution for you.
What’s more, is that there are plenty of scholarships available for those who qualify! Some universities offer up to 90% of tuition assistance when students apply for financial aid. The awardees will need to maintain satisfactory academic progress as well as fulfill certain obligations after graduation. So if you’re interested in an online business degree program but unsure about whether it’ll work out financially, explore these scholarship opportunities first!
9) Grow your professional network through class projects and internships
A great way to grow your professional network is through class projects and internships. These allow you to take what you learn in the classroom, apply it to real-life scenarios, and build connections with fellow classmates. Find a community of like-minded students: Sometimes we all need encouragement from someone who understands how we feel.
10) Need-based financial aid available online
Many online business degrees are offered through private, accredited institutions. One of the benefits of these programs is that they provide financial aid to help offset the cost of tuition. This can make a degree less expensive than it would be if you were to attend a brick-and-mortar school. Plus, many online schools offer flexible class schedules and easy access to professors and course materials. The downside to these programs is that they don’t always provide the same level of hands-on experience as traditional schools do.
10 Tips to Help You Sell Your House Faster Than Average
- Clear out the clutter.
- Get rid of any furniture that doesn’t sell with the house.
- Spend a little money on paint and carpet if you need it to make the space more attractive to prospective buyers.
- Make sure your house is spotless (particularly kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms). 5. Have all repairs completed before showing the home to potential buyers. 6. Update appliances, fixtures, and flooring for modern tastes so they will be in style for years to come even after you’re gone. 7.
- Price it right. The days of underpricing your house are long gone. Studies show that if you price your house well and you have a clean, high-quality home with fresh paint and a yard that’s well-maintained, you’ll be more likely to sell it faster than if you overprice it.
- Get rid of the clutter. Clutter creates a negative perception in buyers’ minds before they’ve even walked in the door.
3) Marketing material
-Get the Home Ready for Sale: The more showable your home is, the better chance it will have of selling quickly.
-Price it Right: It’s critical that you price your property correctly. If you’re overpriced, buyers will think they’ll be able to negotiate a lower price and if you’re underpriced, you might end up leaving money on the table.
4) Price it right
First, it’s important to assess the market value of your home. This will help you set a realistic price, and also ensure that you don’t underprice your home and lose money in the long term. Next, make sure that your home is well-presented by sprucing up the curb appeal with landscaping and new paint on the outside of your house. As well as making small changes like switching out light fixtures or adding new hardware on cabinet doors.
5) Set up showings
The number one tip for selling your house fast is to get it on the market as quickly as possible. Make sure that your home is clean and well-maintained so that buyers will be able to see themselves living there. One way you can do this is by decluttering, deep cleaning, and staging your house. Once your home looks like a buyer’s dream, make sure that you set up showings. Once someone falls in love with it, they’ll make an offer faster than most people might think!
6) Know your market
The process of selling a house is never easy, but if you know your market and have the right marketing plan, then you’ll be able to sell your house faster than average. Check out these 10 tips that will help you sell your house faster. 1) Create an advertising campaign with a clear focus on the target audience and their needs. 2) Set up online listings on sites like Zillow or Trulia to ensure maximum exposure.
7) De-clutter the essential stuff
Clear your clutter. Getting rid of the stuff you don’t need will make your house feel bigger and more open. It will also make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves living there, which is one of the most important things about selling a home quickly. Don’t move anything else in: It’s tempting to try to update your house with new furniture or paint colors, but that can slow down the sale process and cause people to hesitate.
8) De-clutter everything else, or hire someone to do it
When it comes to selling your house, less is more! One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to selling a home is that you need to spend money on renovations and redecorating. The opposite is true, in fact. Paring down your belongings and simplifying your space is not only easier but will also help you sell faster for a higher price!
9) Get it ready!
You might be tempted to skip some of these steps, but don’t. A quick fix-up will make the difference between a stale listing and a fresh one, and it will give you the best shot of selling your house at the best price in the shortest amount of time. Don’t take shortcuts with anything that makes a difference – paint, new carpeting, landscaping. The buyer should have the impression that they are moving into their dream home as soon as they enter your home!
10) Keep in touch with realtors and potential buyers
In order to sell your house faster than average, make sure you keep in touch with realtors and potential buyers. Make yourself available for showings and answer questions promptly. Plus, if you know that you are going to be away on vacation or out of town, let your realtor know about it in advance so they can notify interested parties about the upcoming vacancy.
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