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 Gamesa, 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.
UD President Patrick Harker said, “We're thrilled to join with Gamesa on this project that will bring renewable energy to the Lewes campus and support UD's cutting-edge research in sustainable technologies.”
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.
About the University of Delaware
The University of Delaware, the flagship institution of the state of Delaware, is one of the oldest Land Grant institutions in the nation, and one of only three institutions to also have Sea Grant and Space Grant status. The University is classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a research university with very high research activity -- a designation accorded fewer than 3 percent of U.S. colleges and universities. The University is a state-assisted, privately controlled institution with an enrollment of more than 16,000 undergraduates, 3,500 graduate students and 1,000 professional and continuing study students.
Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica specializes in sustainable energy technologies, primarily wind power. The company is the market leader in Spain and among the largest wind generator manufacturers in the world. Gamesa has installed more than 16,000 megawatts of its main product lines -- the equivalent of 3.45 million tons of petroleum -- in 20 countries on four continents. This production prevents the emission of more than 24 million tons of carbon dioxide. Gamesa USA has two manufacturing centers in Fairless Hills and Ebensburg, Pa., with roughly 900 people employed in the U.S. The company is represented by the United Steelworkers Union.