Wind turbine to go up at University of Delaware Lewes campus

From the UDaily official newsletter:

9:31 a.m., July 27, 2009—-The University of Delaware and Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica have signed an agreement that could facilitate the installation of a utility-scale 2.0MW Gamesa wind turbine at UD’s Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes next year. The agreement was reached in a memorandum of understanding signed by representatives of UD and Ga mesa, with a final accord anticipated in September.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who attended the signing event, said, “This agreement is a significant step forward in Delaware’s efforts to seize the economic development opportunities presented by our nation’s commitment to energy independence and the concern over climate change. Companies like Gamesa value excellent higher education institutions, like the University of Delaware, as well as states that are committed to renewable energy. We have both in Delaware. I am hopeful this partnership will further Delaware’s reputation as a leader in environmental issues like alternative energy and climate prosperity, while serving to demonstrate the connection between the health of our economy and the health of our environment.”

In addition to providing carbon-free electricity generation, the project will enhance University research in areas such as turbine corrosion, avian impacts, and policy issues related to renewable energy. A coastal turbine also enables many types of research needed to develop ocean turbines.

The project is inspired by the work of UD College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) professors Jeremy Firestone and Willett Kempton, who have studied the amount of power supplied by Delaware’s offshore winds as well as public reaction to and policies for wind-energy use.

“We are very pleased to be entering into this agreement with Gamesa, one of the world’s pre-eminent wind turbine manufacturers,” said CEOE Dean Nancy Targett. “We hope that this agreement will advance renewable energy research and development and ultimately benefit the environment and the economy.”

“The University of Delaware leads in promoting a realistic, socially responsible approach to tapping offshore resources,” said Gamesa CEO and Chairman Guillermo Ulacia. “For Gamesa this is a privileged partnership to initiate the next steps in the company’s ‘energy culture’ ethos and to position Gamesa when offshore technology becomes mainstream.”

UD recently completed a project feasibility assessment, which Targett and Kempton will summarize in a public forum in Lewes on July 28. They will also discuss the project’s next steps and implications for the campus and community.

To learn more about CEOE or UD’s offshore wind research, visit the Web sites. For more on Gamesa, visit the company’s Web site.

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