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Special Initiative on Offshore Wind


The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind is an independent project at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment that supports the advancement of offshore wind as part of a comprehensive solution to the most pressing energy problems facing the United States.  The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind provides expertise, analysis, information sharing, and strategic partnership with industry, advocacy and government stakeholders to build understanding and drive the deployment of offshore wind.

Learn more about the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind >>


Directly off the coast from America’s most populated and power hungry cities exists the most significant – yet untapped – potential for generating unlimited clean, renewable energy. Harnessing the full potential of the strong, consistent winds that blow off of our nations coastlines could generate as much as four times the amount of electricity currently generated in America. Tapping just a fraction of this massive offshore wind resource represents a key piece of the strategy for cutting carbon pollution, protecting public health, diversifying our energy supply, and moving America towards a clean energy economy.

Along the Atlantic coast alone, offshore wind represents the most significant developable
renewable energy resource for East Coast states. The East Coast potential for offshore wind power is estimated to be more than 1,300 gigawatts of electricity generation to the East Coast – enough to power 85 million American homes and reduce carbon pollution by the equivalent of taking over 100 million cars off the road. When considering shipping lanes, bird flyways, and other sensitive ocean areas there are 330 gigawatts of “developable” resource – more than enough to supply all the electricity needs of the East Coast.

Offshore wind is unique in its ability to supply abundant, pollution-free power when and where we need it the most. In the marine environment, offshore winds blow during the points of highest electricity demand when the most expensive and polluting power sources are used – afternoons, summer heat waves, and winter cold snaps. Diversifying our energy mix with abundant, zero-fuel cost offshore wind energy during hours of peak demand is critical for displacing polluting power sources and protecting ratepayers from price spikes in the volatile fossil fuel markets.


White Paper: Supply Chain Contracting Forecast for U.S. Offshore Wind Power — March 26, 2019

America's growing offshore wind power industry — now projected to generate 18.6 GW of clean, cost-effective power in seven states on the Atlantic Seaboard by 2030 — is presenting a nearly $70 billion CAPEX revenue opportunity to businesses in the offshore wind power supply chain over the course of the next decade.

In this white paper, the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) quantifies the extensive supply chain business opportunities this $70 billion CAPEX is creating to build out the U.S. offshore wind sector between now and 2030, with quantification broken down by industry component, by state, and by year through 2030.

           Final Report: Supply Chain Contracting Forecast for U.S. Offshore Wind Power

           Press Release: Report Details $70 Billion Opportunity for Businesses in Supply Chain

Report on Offshore Wind in Massachusetts Confirms Outlook for Market Driving Low - March 15, 2016: The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) released a report on the cost of offshore wind projects for Massachusetts illustrating that a commitment by the state to develop offshore wind (OSW) energy at a scale of 2,000 MW, combined with ongoing technology and industry advances, will lower previously projected costs for the clean energy source as much as 54 percent in the next decade.

Final Report: Massachusetts Offshore Wind Future Cost Study

Press Release: Report on Offshore Wind in Massachusetts Confirms Outlook for Market Driving Low Cost

Massachusetts Trade Mission to Denmark - September 8-10, 2015: The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind hosted Massachusetts lawmakers in an educational trade mission to Denmark and joined them as they got a first hand look at fully deployed offshore wind turbines that are already generating clean, renewable power for the grid. The trip was organized by the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate and funded by SIOW.

Trip Itinerary: Trade Mission to Denmark

Media Coverage: Europe proves that clean power is possible in Massachusetts, Tuanton Daily Gazette

Offshore-wind-transformer     Anholt-wind-farm     Group-touring-A2Sea-vessel

*Photos above (left to right): Offshore wind power transformer at Anholt wind farm, Denmark; Anhold wind farm, Denmark; Group touring A2Sea O&M port and service vessel

At White House Summit on Offshore Wind, Feds Assemble Leaders to Chart Offshore Wind's Future - September 28, 2015: Declaring offshore wind critical to America's energy future, the White House convened a group of industry, non-governmental, and governmental leaders to develop supporting strategies for the long-term development of offshore wind energy along all U.S. Coasts.

Fact Sheet: White House Summit on Offshore Wind

Media Coverage: White House Throws Support Behind Offshore Wind, North American Wind Power

U.S. Department of Energy Fund State Efforts to Catalyze Offshore Wind: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has funded a multi-state project with New York, Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, which will produce a regional roadmap for offshore wind. The roadmap will lay out a cooperative path to develop offshore wind at the large-scale level of deployment needed to achieve economies of scale and establish a regional supply chain with high-quality local jobs.

Media Coverage: Feds Fund State Efforts to Catalyze Offshore Wind

Deepwater Wind Begins Installation of First U.S. Offshore Wind Project - July 2015: Deepwater Wind began construction on foundations for five, 6-megawatt wind turbines in the waters off Block Island, Rhode Island. These turbines will supply most of Block Island's electricity and cut electric rates there by an estimated 40 percent.

Learn more: Block Island Wind Farm

SIOW Partners with New York to Conduct "Offshore Wind Cost Reduction" Study - March 10, 2015: In collaboration with NYSERDA, the Special Initiative examined the cost trajectory for hypothetical offshore wind energy projects built in the New York Bight, providing a roadmap of key strategic steps New York State can take to reduce costs of offshore wind power over the next decade and support large-scale development of offshore wind.

Final Report: New York Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Study

NYSERDA Press Release: Report on Offshore Wind Power for New York Provides Roadmap for Reducing Costs, Realizing Potential of Utility-Scale Clean Energy

SIOW Director

Leading the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind is Stephanie McClellan, Ph.D, who has offshore wind power experience in both the private and public sectors.  She recently served as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Outreach for the Google-backed Atlantic Wind Connection.  Working for this offshore wind infrastructure project put Dr. McClellan in close contact with the majority of offshore wind developers, policy-makers in multiple offshore wind states, and the vast network of state and national offshore wind advocates.  Dr. McClellan took a lead role in the offshore wind industry after her immersion in the field as Policy Director for Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell.  In that position she witnessed first-hand the struggles and disappointments of a state that is willing but not able to capitalize on its abundant wind energy resources.

Learn more about SIOW >>

CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-2841
Geography: 302-831-2294 • Geology: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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