US Wind and Ørsted Conducting Offshore Wind Research

Companies Updating Data for Maryland-Approved Projects

Visitors to Delaware Seashore State Park will see an increase in activity in the coming months as US Wind and Ørsted, two offshore wind energy development companies, conduct research and collect data to determine the best path forward for their wind projects.

Both companies plan to update and refresh information collected in the Indian River Bay in 2016 and 2017, and to conduct geotechnical work in the Atlantic and at some land-based locations.

In 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission awarded US Wind Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) for the construction of a roughly 248 megawatt (MW) offshore wind project. A second 808.5 MW project received approval in December 2021.

Ørsted has also received approval from Maryland’s PSC for two projects: Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 MW project, and Skipjack 2, an 846 MW wind project. All four projects are proposed to be built in wind energy areas off the Delaware and Maryland coasts.

“Any project of this scope requires an extensive regulatory process, as well as considerable public input. Gathering the information is the first step,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

In 2019, Ørsted researched the possibility of using Fenwick Island State Park as a location for an interconnection facility. It was later determined that the location was not environmentally feasible.

“We’ve heard the feedback of Delawareans who told us they want to be updated on offshore wind activities, including research. We want to ensure the public is aware of these activities and what the research entails,” Garvin said.

The research will include geotechnical investigations in the Atlantic and Indian River Bay, land-based geotechnical sampling at Delaware Seashore State Park and other work including data collection on wetlands, rare species and cultural resources.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


Report Outlines Offshore Wind Opportunities, Challenges for Delaware

Special Initiative on Offshore Wind Provides Updates on Markets, Pricing

The opportunities and challenges ahead for Delaware as it explores the possibilities of the state entering the growing offshore wind industry are outlined in a new report prepared by University of Delaware researchers for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin wrote to ask UD’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind last year to conduct analysis of market trends, economic viability including future price points, supply chain and workforce development opportunities, and technical obstacles and options for the possible procurement of offshore wind to serve Delaware. The chairs and vice chairs of the General Assembly’s Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the House Energy Committee later also encouraged SIOW to conduct the study. The study’s objectives were outlined in a memorandum of understanding between DNREC and the SIOW.

The state’s Offshore Wind Working Group’s 2018 report highlighted several options for further consideration, including the state waiting for more developers to enter the market, an incremental approach to wind power, and evaluating other renewable sources. In requesting SIOW’s help, DNREC was interested in updating the opportunities and challenges of offshore wind to inform decisions by state leaders regarding the possible procurement of offshore wind power and related issues.

“While it does not address all of the options put forward by the Governor’s Offshore Wind Working Group, this new report provides insights into current market conditions, outlines policy options for Delaware, and identifies important tradeoffs based on priorities determined by the Governor and state legislature,” Secretary Garvin said. “The report, along with the findings put forward by the Offshore Wind Working Group, are essential pieces that will help ensure we make the right decisions moving forward.”

Among the report’s findings:

  • Projected offshore wind power prices fall within the range of wholesale power being purchased for Delaware now.
  • Offshore wind power costs less than half of Delaware’s current electricity supply when the social costs of health and climate impacts are included.
  • Health damage from polluting power plants is very real, as are health savings from adding new renewable energy.

Kris Ohleth, SIOW executive director at the University of Delaware, said the report provides information on different approaches to offshore wind development.

“If Delaware decides to create a procurement for offshore wind, the state will develop its own approach based on its priorities,” Ohleth said. “This report describes potential policies and opportunities and quantifies their relative effects on the cost of electricity.”

Delaware has set a target of achieving 40% renewable energy by 2035. In addition, shifting to renewable energy is among the strategies identified in Delaware’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change.

DNREC will continue to study and evaluate all the options and the technical challenges involved in connecting offshore wind to the power grid. The SIOW report, as well as the previous work from the state’s Offshore Wind Working Group, can be found at de.gov/offshorewind.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy uses science, education, policy development and incentives to address Delaware’s climate, energy and coastal challenges. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov or Jim Lee, JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

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DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation extends deadline for Fenwick Island State Park Improvements Survey

FENWICK – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has extended the Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey deadline to Jan. 15, 2020. The extension is to allow further input regarding improvements to the park that are under consideration.

The estimated $18 million in proposed improvements look at ways to improve traffic flow, upgrade infrastructure, and add new recreational amenities. Ørsted, an offshore wind developer, has proposed funding these projects as part of a public-private partnership.

The funding for the amenities under consideration could be done sooner if the State allows the Maryland Skipjack Wind Farm project proposed in Federal waters to connect to the electrical grid under Fenwick Island State Park. DNREC is extending the period to take comments on the park improvements. Comments on the wind farm should be directed to United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Office of Public Affairs at BOEMPublicAffairs@boem.gov, 202-208-6474 or 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.

The Fenwick Island State Park Proposed Improvements Survey and its comment section are specific to the park and its amenities. For questions or to complete the survey, visit www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

For more information about the Skipjack Wind Farm, visit https://skipjackwindfarm.com. For additional information on the Federal approval process through BOEM, visit www.boem.gov/renewable-energy/state-activities/maryland-activities.

Contact: Shauna McVey, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220.


Delaware Offshore Wind Working Group to hold public workshops May 29 and 31

DOVER – Delaware’s Offshore Wind Working Group will host two public workshops in May for input on the working group’s draft recommendations to the Governor.

Workshops will be held at 6 p.m. on the following dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, May 29, William Penn High School Auditorium, 713 E. Basin Road New Castle, DE 19720
  • Thursday, May 31, South Coastal Library, 43 Kent Avenue, Bethany Beach, DE 19930

The workshops will begin with a brief update on draft recommendations that were developed at the working group’s April 23 meeting. The public may then offer comments on the draft recommendations.

The recommendations focus on three key questions:

  • What factors need to be considered before Delaware responds when a company proposes to develop offshore wind?
  • What factors need to be considered in a decision on whether the state would solicit or purchase energy, capacity or renewable energy credits (RECs) from an offshore wind project?
  • What can Delaware do to position itself to become the location for part of the supply chain for offshore wind projects in the Mid-Atlantic?

The draft recommendations, along with briefing materials, public comments, and additional resources are posted at de.gov/offshorewind.

All Offshore Wind Working Group meetings are open to the public and posted on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar.

For more information, or to submit written comment, please contact Tom Noyes, principal planner for utility policy, DNREC Division of Energy & Climate, by emailing Thomas.Noyes@delaware.gov or calling 302-735-3480.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

Vol. 48, No. 129


Delaware Offshore Wind Working Group to hold Dec. 5 public workshop in Lewes in conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate

DOVER – In conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Energy & Climate, Delaware’s Offshore Wind Working Group will host a public workshop Tuesday, Dec. 5 in Sussex County for input about the potential for offshore wind energy and the ways that it might benefit the state. The workshop will begin at 6 p.m. at the Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Avenue, Lewes, DE 19958.

As with a workshop held Nov. 29 in Odessa, the Lewes workshop will begin with a briefing on the status of the Offshore Wind Working Group, which was established by Governor John Carney’s Executive Order 13 in August. Representatives from the US Wind and Deepwater Wind companies will then give a presentation on projects approved earlier this year by the Maryland Public Service Commission, and the prospects for new offshore wind projects that might provide economic opportunities and energy benefits to Delaware. The public will then be invited to comment on these projects in an open forum.

The Offshore Wind Working Group began meeting in October, and by Dec. 15 the group must submit a report to the Governor with recommendations on short- and long-term strategies for developing wind power to serve Delaware, and plans to develop job opportunities in the offshore wind industry.

All Offshore Wind Working Group meetings are open to the public and are posted on the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar. Briefing materials, public comments, and additional resources can be found at de.gov/offshorewind.

For more information or to submit written comment, please contact Tom Noyes, Division of Energy & Climate, by emailing Thomas.Noyes@delaware.gov or calling 302-735-3480.

Vol. 47, No. 254

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.