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Delaware’s environmental agency is recommending ways to develop offshore wind projects during a time of market uncertainty.
The offshore wind industry has taken a hit from inflation and supply chain issues. In November, offshore wind giant Ørsted canceled two projects off the coast of New Jersey, pointing to this, along with an agreement that locked in prices for its wind-generated electricity. Following similar issues, BP and Equinor canceled their contract to sell offshore wind energy to New York this week. The state is conducting a new bidding process. Still, there was some good news in the wind industry this week as Vineyard Wind, a 62-turbine wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts, turned on the switch to 800 megawatts of electricity.
Offshore wind is a major piece in President Biden’s push to decarbonize the grid, and reach the climate goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 – enough to light up 10 million homes. Delaware’s push has a long history but has yet to get off the ground. Gov. Carney signed a bill last year to cut carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach a 100% net reduction by 2050.
A new 36-page report from Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control recommends the state begin a legislative process to develop procurement policies for offshore wind in state waters. The agency urges the state to be flexible and consider fluid market conditions when procuring offshore wind projects.
“In reviewing these changing conditions, key factors, and anticipated developments coming up in 2024, the importance of flexibility cannot be overemphasized,” the report reads. “In developing and implementing an offshore wind procurement program, DNREC should not rely on what other states have done, but focus on what works best for Delaware.”