UD Wind Power Program | Externally Funded Research

Our current Externally Funded Research:

Atlantic Consortium
Wilmington Canyon Study
Marine Spatial Planning
Offshore Wind and Beach Use
Maryland and Delaware Survey
Delaware and New Jersey Survey

Advanced Offshore Wind Energy - Atlantic Consortium

To make US university research more relevant to the wind industry, and to advance wind companies in this fast-developing technology field--these two sectors need more engagement than we have seen to date. To accomplish a more synergistic relationship, the University of Delaware has organized an industry-university consortium: “Advanced Offshore Wind -- Atlantic Consortium." University research participants are from UD, the University of Maryland and Old Dominion University. The activities of the Consortium includes multiple lines of wind power research, and creation of new graduate and advanced undergraduate courses relating to wind power from various disciplines. Both research and course content are reviewed and advised by a Board of Industrial Advisors from the wind industry. Photo below shows the Board of Industrial Advisors, PIs and researchers, on site at UD’s 2MW wind turbine during a Board meeting in June 2012. The Principal Investigator (PI) is Willett Kempton, and the Consortium is funded by the US Department of Energy as project DE-EE0003535. Click here for the Atlantic Wind Consortium site, including reports developed as part of this award. This project concluded on June 30, 2014.

Improving Atmospheric Models for Offshore Wind Resource Mapping and Prediction Using LIDAR, Aircraft, and In-ocean Observations (IMPOWR)

This research project is using ocean meteorological tower measurements in conjunction with an airborne LIDAR in order to validate an ocean meteorological model, the Weather Research & Forecasting (WRF) model. Energy Management, Inc. is making its meteorological tower at the Cape Wind offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound available for the research project, and project researchers are installing new, high-quality meteorological instruments on the tower for validation of the atmospheric model. UD is a major subcontractor to SUNY Stony Brook for this DOE-funded project, DE-EE000537; the overall Principal Investigator is Professor Brian Colle of the SUNY Stony Brook School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Investigators on the UD subcontract are Professors Dana Veron and Cristina Archer. See the IMPOWER website here as well as Dr. Archer's personal website here.


A System Design Study for Wilmington Canyon Offshore Wind Farm

How to reduce costs for future offshore wind development? This project attempts to do so by “integrated design,” that is, using combined teams who design the foundation, tower, deployment vessel together. Funded by US Department of Energy as project DE-EE0005484, the project will develop a cost-optimized, integrated system design of an offshore wind plant. Participating organizations include Moffatt & Nichol, Weeks Marine, Signal International, CG, Clipper Windpower, and Atlantic Grid Developers. Willett Kempton is principal investigator for this project; Richard Bowers is the project manager.

Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Interconnection and Transmission

The Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Interconnection and Transmission (MAOWIT) project will provide a detailed analysis to evaluate the pros and cons of offshore transmission, which is outlined in the DOE Office Wind Strategic Plan (DOE 2011) as a possible method to decrease the balance-of-system costs and permitting time of offshore wind farms. It will also address related and pressing questions regarding the adequacy of existing transmission infrastructure and the ability of existing generating resources to provide the necessary ancillary services support (spinning and contingency reserves) in the PJM region. Principal Investigator is Willett Kempton; project manager is Kathleen Harris. Funded by US Dept of Energy as project DE-EE0005366. The work of researcher Christina Archer can be seen here. Mike Dvorak is a consultant on the grant and some of his work can be viewed in more detail on his Sailor's Energy webpage.

EPSCoR: Innovations in Renewable Energy

CCPI Scientists John Madsen and Bonnie Ram, as part of University of Delaware’s NSF-funded Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant, received two years of funding to research innovations of renewable energy. The target of this research is to reduce costs and properly address issues associated with geotechnical property and environmental risks in the offshore wind areas in the Mid-Atlantic Bight. As part of their research, they will develop a picture of the sediment in the offshore wind areas and apply an integrated risk analysis to the development of offshore wind.

Marine Spatial Planning

Identification of suitable locations for offshore wind projects is a complex process. Marine Spatial Planning is a tool that accounts for existing ocean uses and features, incorporating long-term regional goals. In Delaware, and elsewhere in the United States, there has been increased attention on ocean renewables, with particular focus on offshore wind power development. In this research project we analyzed 29 sources of data to generate 48 multi-layered GIS maps and an accompanying policy document that incorporates current information about existing users and uses, wind resources, bathymetry, marine geology, and ecological features, measured where possible in both space and time. Read the full report here. Principal Investigator was Jeremy Firestone. Beyond the report, recent MS graduate Katya Samoteskul published an article in 2014 that investigated the costs and benefits of diverting commercial ships further offshore in the Mid-Atlantic, thus freeing up nearer-coast locations for offshore wind power turbines. In addition under another NOAA grant, an ongoing project led by PhD student Alison Bates is evaluating the extent of potential conflict between commercial fishing and offshore wind power development in the Mid-Atlantic.

Impacts of Offshore Wind on Beach Use

The purpose of this project, funded by NOAA and BOEM, is to measure how the presence and visual impact of offshore wind projects might affect recreational beach use on the east coast of the United States. George Parsons is the Principle Investigator, and along with Professor Firestone and graduate students, is conducting an internet-based stated preference survey. See Professor Parson’s website for more information and updates to the project.

Maryland and Delaware Choice Experiment

Principal Investigator Jeremy Firestone received a two-year grant from the Delaware/NOAA Sea Grant to study the willingness of Delaware and Maryland residents to pay a premium above current electricity rates for offshore wind power generated electricity. Work on the choice experiment survey began in February 2014. Meryl Gardner, George Parsons and recently matriculated PhD student Lauren Knapp work on the project. The hypothetical offshore wind projects that will be studied are located off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland and Fenwick Island, Delaware in BOEM’s Maryland Wind Energy Area. The mixed-mode survey (internet and mail) is slated to commence
in late August/early September 2014. Photomontages are being prepared by Macro Works.

Delaware and New Jersey Public Perceptions

In both Delaware and New Jersey, a) a coastal wind project has recently become operational, b) an entity has proposed near-shore (state-waters), small-scale (six turbine) test/demonstration projects, and c) the first proposed offshore transmission line in the United States was proposed to make landfall. The three planned NJ projects are or will be located in the greater Atlantic City area, while the three Delaware projects extend from just inside Delaware Bay in the Lewes area to Indian River, thus facilitating an examination of public perceptions of local residents who may be effected by the projects. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in 2013, followed by a mail survey in 2013. The first two articles will be submitted for publication by the end of summer 2014 and an oral presentation on offshore transmission will be given at the 2014 AWEA Offshore Wind Conference. Principal Investigator is Jeremy Firestone and the lead graduate student is Alison Bates. Funded by NOAA Sea Grant. Separately, graduate student Heather Thompson is comparing visual perceptions of land-based wind and conventional coal in Delaware. That project is partially funded by First State Marine Wind, LLC. Photomontages were prepared by Macro Works.