DNREC State Energy Office Delivers Offshore Wind Procurement Report To Governor, Legislators

Exploring partnerships with neighboring states, promoting the coordinated, cost-effective buildout of the transmission system on a regional scale and including ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate environmental impacts are among the recommendations put forward in a report on developing a process for offshore wind procurement delivered to Governor John Carney and state lawmakers by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) State Energy Office.

“This report provides the background, current economic conditions and options for the Governor and state legislators to consider as Delaware charts its path forward in the development of a comprehensive offshore wind program,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

The report, Proposed Offshore Wind Procurement Strategy for Delaware, reviews changing conditions in the offshore wind industry, identifies key factors to consider in developing an offshore wind program, identifies key developments coming up in 2024 that will affect planning and offers recommendations on how to best structure an offshore wind procurement strategy to meet Delaware’s needs. 

Among the recommendations included in the report:

  1. Delaware should proceed with legislation authorizing the procurement of offshore wind to serve Delaware, either as a standalone project or in partnership with other states. 
  2. DNREC should prepare model legislation to establish a path forward on offshore wind procurement that best serves the needs of Delaware. 
  3. DNREC should be the lead agency in developing an offshore wind procurement program. 
  4. The procurement program should encompass as much flexibility (in terms of timing, scale, location and agreement structure) as possible to best adapt to changing industry conditions. 
  5. The procurement program should be developed in consultation with all Delaware utilities, mindful of their differing governance structures and business practices. 
  6. The procurement program should maximize long-term value and minimize ratepayer impacts. 
  7. The procurement program should provide for economic development and workforce development without adding specifications that would drive up the cost. 
  8. The procurement program should include possible partnerships with neighboring states on subjects including procurement, transmission and supply chain development to take advantage of economies of scale beyond those of Delaware’s buying capacity. 
  9. The procurement program should be structured to promote the coordinated, cost-effective buildout of the transmission system on a regional scale. 
  10. The procurement program should consider potential environmental and natural resource impacts and include ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate these impacts in planning for offshore wind procurement. 
  11. DNREC should update its analysis and adapt this strategy on an ongoing basis as more information becomes available. 

DNREC also delivered the first Climate Action Plan Implementation Report to the Governor and state lawmakers. That report highlights how the state, in partnership with federal and local governments, fellow states, businesses, universities and communities is making rapid progress in Delaware’s efforts to reduce emissions and transition to clean energy sources.

“Thanks to President Biden and Governor Carney’s leadership, Delaware is seizing the opportunities to advance America’s growing offshore wind industry and reap the benefits – from good-paying union jobs, to lower energy costs, to a healthier planet,” President Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said. “Today’s announcement is a key step forward for the Central Atlantic offshore wind partnership, as we continue to work hand in hand with the Carney Administration to grow domestic procurement of wind technology. We will continue to coordinate across all levels of government within the region to ensure Delaware is able to take advantage of the immense economic and environmental benefits of this rapidly growing American industry.”

The report builds on the recommendations of the Offshore Wind Working Group, continuing through the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) Report commissioned by DNREC and on the policy direction set by the Delaware’s Climate Solutions Act. It represents the most recent step in Delaware’s ongoing effort to develop an offshore wind strategy that fits the state’s policy needs and objectives.

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 FacebookInstagramX (formerly known as Twitter) or LinkedIn.

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