Delaware continues to explore opportunities and challenges presented by the growing offshore wind industry.
The state has set a target of achieving 40% renewable energy by 2035. Increasing renewable energy in Delaware is also identified as a strategy in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.
Governor John Carney established the Offshore Wind Working Group in August, 2017, to study opportunities for Delaware to participate in developing offshore wind.
The Offshore Wind Working group included a diverse group from government, industry, and the public. Bruce Burcat, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition, chaired the group. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy provided staffing resources.
The Working Group held a series of formal meetings and public comment workshops in 2017 and 2018 to develop a Report to Governor Carney (June 29, 2018). In this report, the Offshore Wind Working Group identified several options for additional study, including large scale purchases, incremental commitments to future projects, waiting until additional developers propose projects in the Mid-Atlantic Region and evaluating other renewable energy sources.
The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) at the University of Delaware has completed a report, Offshore Wind Procurement Options for Delaware, prepared at the request of DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. The purpose of the request was to conduct analysis of market conditions and options for developing offshore wind to serve Delaware.
The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind is an independent project at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment that supports the advancement of offshore wind.
While the SIOW report offers useful insights to inform Delaware’s offshore wind discussions, it does not address all of the options put forward by the Offshore Wind Working Group. DNREC continues to study and evaluate all these options along with the technical challenges involved in connecting offshore wind to the power grid.