DNREC Releases Report On Offshore Wind Power Opportunities, Challenges


The Delaware Department of Natural Resources released a report Thursday that explores the possibilities of the state entering the growing offshore wind industry, as well as challenges. The study was prepared by University of Delaware researchers and DNREC, according to Natural Resources Secretary Shawn Garvin.

Garvin last year asked UD’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind to examine market trends, economic viability including future price points, supply chain and workforce development opportunities and “technical obstacles and options for possible procurement of offshore wind to serve Delaware.”

A report created in 2018 by the Delaware Offshore Wind Working Group highlighted several options for the state to consider, according to DNREC:

-waiting for more developers to enter the market

-incremental approach to wind power

-evaluating other renewable sources.

“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,” 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, according to DNREC:

  • 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.

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

Under Delaware’s Climate Action Plan , the state has a goal of reaching 40% renewable energy by 2035.

To read the report and other projects of the Delaware Offshore Wind Working Group, please visit de.gov/offshorewind.