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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.


Distinct in scale and capacity, offshore wind has the potential to protect ratepayers from price volatility, generate unmatched economic activity and meet key environmental goals. 

The Atlantic coast offshore wind resource represents the most significant developable renewable energy resource for East Coast states from North Carolina to Maine. It is the only renewable resource that can be scaled up to the output level necessary to displace fossil fuels and address climate change. Atlantic offshore wind energy has several advantages over land-based wind: greater predictability, greater output per wind turbine, and proximity to large population centers that need the electricity.  Additionally, unlike land-based wind, offshore wind blows during the points of highest energy demand. These advantages give offshore wind the potential to reduce peak and congestion prices on the East Coast. Offshore wind can significantly drive the region toward a robust clean energy economy because it is the only resource with which the Atlantic states can locally meet their renewable energy portfolio standards.


This initiative is separate from, yet complements, existing and long-standing UD efforts on offshore wind power housed in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, and UD's Center for Carbon-free Power Integration.

  • Work to bridge understanding/collective action by capitalizing on lessons learned from Europe and the UK;
  • Produce objective analytics of the value of offshore wind energy;
  • Develop an understanding, compelling message on offshore wind’s value proposition;
  • Conduct, with other offshore wind stakeholders, broad outreach and education to policymakers and decision-makers;
  • Foster collaboration and innovation to increase market size and reduce cost;
  • Serve as a resource to craft customized solutions/answers to states considering and/or pursuing offshore wind.


The University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE) is uniquely positioned to build awareness and consensus driving the deployment of offshore wind.  The University’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration has a long record of offshore wind academic research and teaching.  Recent notable research has been published on world wind power resources, and on running a region on offshore wind, onshore wind and solar.  UD’s offshore wind academic programs are housed in the CEOE, but with strong links to the College of Engineering, Center for Composite Materials, and others.


Report: New York Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Study, March 2015

SIOW Fact Sheet: World turning on to OSW, March 2015

Invitation - Congressional Briefing, June 12, 2014

Press Release - SIOW Launch, February 25, 2014


SIOW One Pager

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.

Stephanie McClellan, Ph.D.

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 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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