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Carney creates offshore wind working group

Sarah Mueller
Gov. Carney with Sen. Tom Carper and others as he signs an executive order creating a offshore wind working group.

Delaware is taking another shot at developing wind energy off its coast.

Gov. John Carney has created a working group to study the issue and make recommendations. He said the cost of building offshore wind turbines has gone down since the state's attempt to build an offshore wind farm in 2007.

He wants the 17-member working group to review laws, costs and opportunities for the state to create jobs and develop sustainable wind power.

The group’s report is due in mid-December. Carney said he’s particularly interested in the economics and the management of a wind farm project.

“I just really felt the need to get them to hit the ground running and hope that they’ll get back to me if they need additional time," he said. "But the purpose is really to give them a short period of time so that they could...get us something soon so we could take a look at it.”

Delaware tried to build the U.S.’s first offshore wind farm off of Rehoboth Beach. But the Great Recession and lack of financing ultimately killed the project.

The Skipjack Offshore Energy Project took over the site and is building a wind farm to supply power in Maryland.That's the same place Delaware intended to build its wind farm.

Carney said Delaware may still be able to build there.

“It’s my understanding that the Maryland project’s not going to use that whole area, so that would be a logical place to look or you know, other places," he said. "There’s been a lot of work done, particularly by the University of Delaware and so in some ways as Bruce Burcat mentioned, we can pick up in some ways where we left off 10 years ago.”

Sen. Tom Carper and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine have introduced legislation in Congress that gives a tax credit to people who invest in renewable energy projects. Carper said technology has made renewable energy competitive with fossil fuels and he adds there’s a lot of good jobs in that industry.

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