“The moment I read that paper,” the wind entrepreneur Peter Mandelstam recalled, “I knew in my gut where my next wind project would be.”
I was having lunch with Mandelstam last fall to discuss offshore wind in general and how he and his tiny company, Bluewater Wind, came to focus on Delaware as a likely place for a nascent and beleaguered offshore wind industry to establish itself. Mandelstam had been running late all morning. I knew this because I received a half-dozen messages on my cellphone from members of his staff, who relayed his oncoming approach like air-traffic controllers guiding a wayward trans-Atlantic flight into Kennedy. This was the Bluewater touch — crisp, informative, ever-helpful, a supercharged, Eagle Scout attentiveness that was part corporate style, part calculated public-relations approach. It would pay off tremendously in his company’s barnstorming campaign of Delaware town meetings and radio appearances to capture what he had reason to believe would be the first offshore-wind project in the country’s history.