UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del.
Photo by Bob Bowden
The University of Delaware plans to study the potential for wind power generation at its Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes. A temporary tower on the campus will be installed and outfitted with electronic gear to determine the feasibility of this alternative energy source.
“This is an exciting opportunity to see if the wind resource at the Lewes campus is economically viable,” said Nancy Targett, dean of the UD College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES). “If so, it would be a great renewable source of energy for the campus that would provide potential for savings and for useful research data.”
The college is working with Ontario, N.Y.-based Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. on the feasibility study, which is expected to take approximately 10 months.
The tower will be fitted with sensors and data recorders that will provide scientists valuable information about local wind speeds and durations. This information will help determine whether one or more wind turbines on the property could someday supply the campus with cheap, clean, and dependable energy.
The feasibility study was inspired in part by the findings of CMES researchers. Satellite data suggest that the winds off the mid-Atlantic coast could be more than enough to supply clean energy to the entire region.
The Lewes tower will help determine whether that wind resource also can be effectively harnessed on shore. The land-based project is not connected to current discussions about a proposed wind farm off the Delaware coast.
In addition to assessing the wind resource at the Lewes campus, the college also is studying other aspects of the project, including the economics of wind power, the government regulatory process, and community engagement.
Such research is important, agrees Nicholas DiPasquale, Conservation Chair for Delaware Audubon.
“As a coastal state, Delaware will be affected dramatically by sea level rise brought on by global warming from the burning of fossil fuels,” stated DiPasquale. “The development of wind energy must be pursued aggressively, but with due regard for its potential impacts on birds and other wildlife. Delaware Audubon commends CMES for taking this initiative and looks forward to working with Dr. Targett on conducting the feasibility study to define those impacts and identify appropriate and effective mitigation measures.”
Targett noted that UD is taking a leading role in the green technology revolution.
“This wind study is just one of many efforts by university science, engineering, and policy experts to help our state, nation, and planet transition to more earth-friendly technologies,” she said. “Our work with wind, fuel cells, solar panels, energy efficiency, and low-impact development practices, to name but a few examples, represents a concerted effort to secure economic stability and conserve our valuable natural resources for future generations.”
For more about CMES, visit www.ocean.udel.edu.