From WHYY: Delaware’s third try at offshore wind


By Cris Barrish

This story is part of the WHYY News Climate Desk, bringing you news and solutions for our changing region.

Delaware is taking its third swing in 15 years at getting a dedicated amount of its electricity from offshore wind farms, and advocates hope this time is the charm.

The first attempt came in 2008, when Bluewater Wind planned to construct up to 150 wind turbines about 13 miles off the Delaware coast. Bluewater had a 25-year contract to provide Delmarva Power, with electricity.

But the deal that would have made Delaware the first state with an offshore wind farm collapsed in 2011, in large part because financing evaporated amid concerns over the high price of wind power.


The notion was resurrected in 2017, however, when Gov. John Carney took office and appointed a task force That group ultimately determined in a June 2018 report that the cost of wind power was still too prohibitive..

But now, with every other East Coast state from Massachusetts to North Carolina involved in a wind project, Delaware is once again exploring the idea. This month, as part of a package aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Carney signed a measure that sets Delaware on another potential offshore wind path.

Willett Kempton, a University of Delaware professor, was the lead author of a 53-page report in February 2022 by the independent Special Initiative on Offshore Wind, which concluded that the current cost of “offshore wind power prices fall within the range of wholesale power being purchased for Delaware now.”

Kempton, who co-founded the university’s Center for Research in Wind, told WHYY News that now could be Delaware’s time to step up to the plate to begin once again the process of procuring wind power in a state where most of the electricity comes from natural gas.

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