Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's (DNREC) State Energy Office has presented a report to Governor John Carney and state lawmakers outlining recommendations for developing a process for offshore wind procurement.
The report emphasizes exploring partnerships with neighboring states, promoting a coordinated and cost-effective buildout of the transmission system on a regional scale, and addressing environmental impacts through avoidance, minimization, or mitigation strategies.
DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin highlighted the significance of the report, stating, “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.”
Key recommendations from the report include:
- Delaware should proceed with legislation authorizing the procurement of offshore wind, either as a standalone project or in collaboration with other states.
- DNREC should prepare model legislation to establish a path forward on offshore wind procurement tailored to Delaware's needs.
- DNREC should take the lead in developing an offshore wind procurement program with maximum flexibility.
- The procurement program should be designed in consultation with all Delaware utilities, considering their varying governance structures and business practices.
- Flexibility in timing, scale, location, and agreement structure should be incorporated to adapt to changing industry conditions.
- The procurement program should aim to maximize long-term value, minimize ratepayer impacts, and promote economic and workforce development without escalating costs.
- Potential partnerships with neighboring states should be explored for procurement, transmission, and supply chain development to capitalize on economies of scale.
- The program should facilitate a coordinated, cost-effective buildout of the transmission system on a regional scale.
- Environmental and natural resource impacts should be considered, and strategies to avoid, minimize, or mitigate these impacts should be incorporated into the offshore wind procurement planning.
- DNREC should regularly update its analysis and adapt the strategy as more information becomes available.
This report builds on the recommendations of the Offshore Wind Working Group and aligns with the policy direction set by Delaware's Climate Solutions Act, representing the state's ongoing efforts to develop a robust offshore wind strategy.
DNREC also delivered the first Climate Action Plan Implementation Report, highlighting progress in reducing emissions and transitioning to clean energy sources in collaboration with various stakeholders. President Biden's National Climate Advisor, Ali Zaidi, commended Delaware's leadership in advancing the offshore wind industry, emphasizing the economic and environmental benefits of this rapidly growing sector.