With the State of New York poised to award its first offshore wind RFP this week and New Jersey expected to follow later this summer, there will be considerable focus on the emerging wind energy market in the United States.

The University of Delaware has a range of experts who can speak to various aspects of wind energy:

Stephanie McClellan, director of UD’s Special Initiative for Offshore Wind (SIOW), authored a white paper identifying a $70B economic opportunity for businesses in the supply chain to build America’s offshore wind power market.

"America's offshore wind industry is taking off and what people see now is just the tip of the iceberg," said McClellan.  Our analysis illuminates the market's supply chain needs, timing and pace, and $70 billion in capital expenditures for businesses to create growth opportunities and build this extraordinary enterprise."

Jeremy Firestone found that wind farms are seen as good neighbors. He examined the attitudes of people living near these facilities and found they prefer wind power projects to a variety of energy alternatives.

“Even respondents in coal-mining states would prefer their local wind power project by more than 10 to one over a similarly-sited coal-fired power plant,” said Firestone. “This suggests the energy transition that is underway in the United States may be embraced widely.”

Willett Kempton and John Madsen recently led the first Offshore Wind Skills Academy, aimed at training the professionals and managers who will guide the growing industry.

“The northeast states in the U.S. have committed to 10,000 megawatts of offshore wind to be built in the next 10 years,” Kempton said. “That is the equivalent of building an entire nuclear power complex each year for the next 10 years. There is not anything like the number of people we need to do that. We wanted to be part of the overall effort to train the professionals, managers and new entrants to this industry.”

Cristina Archer’s research has identified an unexpected benefit of wind farms—the ability to lessen the precipitation caused by hurricanes.

“By the time the air reaches the land, it’s been squeezed out of a lot of moisture. We got a 30 percent reduction of the precipitation with the Harvey simulations,” said Archer. “That means, potentially, if you have arrays of offshore turbines in an area where there are hurricanes, you will likely see a reduction in precipitation inland if the farm is there.”

If you’d like to speak with any of them, please let me know.

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