Atlantic Shores

Delaware Passes Bill to Facilitate 1.2 GW Offshore Wind Solicitation

Delaware’s State Senate has passed a bill that enables the US state to issue an offshore wind solicitation to procure 1.2 GW of offshore wind generation capacity and in participate in regional offshore wind transmission planning.

The Senate adopted the Delaware Energy Solutions Act of 2024 (Senate Bill 265) on 30 June, with the legislation now sent for sign-off to Delaware Governor John Carney, who has previously pledged his support, according to Oceantic Network, the US offshore renewable energy industry organisation.

The bill directs the State Energy Office to develop and conduct one or more solicitations for single or multiple contracts to be entered for energy, capacity, ancillary services and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), or only RECs, generated by one or more offshore wind projects that have an aggregate nameplate capacity of not more than 1,200 MW.

The Energy Solutions Act of 2024 also encourages regional cooperation and includes provisions allowing for streamlined development of onshore transmission.

“Passage of the Delaware Energy Solutions Act represents a pivotal moment for Delaware and an important milestone for the offshore wind industry up and down the East Coast,” said Sam Salustro, vice president of strategic communications at Oceantic Network.

“Delaware has always been an offshore wind pioneer and critical thought leader in the industry. The state now takes its rightful place as an active offshore wind state ready to play an important role supporting development of the regional supply chain. In addition to setting up a procurement process for the state’s first projects, the bill strengthens the wider market by creating processes for transmission siting so offshore wind energy can power people’s homes and businesses.”

New offshore wind project capacity in the federal waters off Delaware will be procured soon by the federal government.

On 28 June, two days before the state bill was adopted by the Senate, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it would hold an offshore wind lease sale for the Central Atlantic on 14 August, which will offer one area offshore the states of Delaware and Maryland, and one area offshore Virginia.

The two new areas on lease sale could accommodate up to 6.3 GW of installed offshore wind capacity.

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