Wind Power

The University of Delaware (UD) Wind Power Program, initiated in 2003, conducts research, education, and outreach on wind power, with emphasis on coastal and offshore wind. Our approach to research, education and outreach is cross-cutting, integrated, and interdisciplinary.

The UD Wind Power Program is a major focal area of CReW. Although its primary administrative home is in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, it has strong links to the College of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering), Center for Composite Materials, and the College of Business and Economics, among others academic units at the University of Delaware.

This website describes our research, teaching, role in technology deployment, and public outreach, gives an introduction to some wind concepts and tools, and describes the Delaware offshore wind energy area. Below we highlight UD’s Wind Power Graduate Certificate program, the UD Lewes campus 2 MW wind turbine, some recent research undertaken by the UD Wind Power Program, and student opportunities, with additional information available in this website and in annual CReW reports.


Lewes Wind Turbine

In 2010, the University of Delaware in partnership with Gamesa Technology Company installed a 2MW Gamesa G90 wind turbine adjacent to UD’s coastal campus in Lewes, DE. This project was initiated and carried out by UD Wind Power Program Faculty members Jeremy Firestone and Willett Kempton and CEOE Dean Nancy Targett. The wind turbine powers the six main buildings associated with the Lewes campus.


Furthermore, for much of the year the wind turbine generates electricity beyond what the campus uses in a given month, with the excess carbon-free electricity being used by the town of Lewes. In addition to providing clean electricity to the UD Lewes campus and to the town of Lewes, the turbine has provided several research opportunities, including investigations into avian and bat mortality, sea-air corrosion, and drive train optimization; is used as an educational platform to enhance and as an adjunct to classroom instruction; and helps to support graduate students through the sale of renewable energy credits.

Current research

The UD Wind Power Program has recently initiated work on several new research grants. These include an NSF EAGER grant, Delaware/NOAA Sea Grant awards, a BOEM cooperative agreement and an NSF EPSCoR grant. Cristina Archer is leading a study funded by an EAGER grant that models atmospheric turbulence and wake effects of wind turbines.

George Parsons and Jeremy Firestone are conducting a survey funded by BOEM to evaluate how offshore wind may potentially affect beach choices from South Carolina to Cape Cod.

Second, Jeremy Firestone and Meryl Gardner are working on a NOAA Sea Grant award that will gauge Maryland and Delaware resident’s willingness to pay a premium for offshore wind.

Third, PhD Candidate Alison Bates is leading as a marine spatial planning quantitative assessment of potential conflict between offshore wind power development and commercial fishing.

Lastly, UD Wind Power Program researchers are part of the University of Delaware’s EPSCoR grant team and are investigate geotechnical characteristics of the seafloor to facilitate cost reduction (John Madsen) and the benefits of employing integrated risk assessment to offshore wind power (Bonnie Ram). Ongoing projects include several grants from the US Department of Energy on integrated system design, grid integration, and resource assessment.


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