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The University of Delaware (UD) and Gamesa Technology Corp. held a ceremony to commission a 2 MW wind turbine at UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes, Del.

The project is part of a joint venture ­- First State Marine Wind - between UD-owned Blue Hen Wind and Gamesa Technology. The city of Lewes and Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. are also key partners.

The land-based campus turbine stands 400 feet high from its tower base to the apex of its blade at peak rotation. Each of the turbine's three blades is 144 feet long.

"Transitioning to a clean energy economy has the potential to improve our environment and create thousands of jobs," says Collin O'Mara, secretary of Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. "The UD-Gamesa partnership will demonstrate significant economic and environmental benefits for this transition and serves as a model for future offshore development."

The turbine is expected to generate more than enough power for the campus, and so the excess power will be fed to the electric grid. The university will provide any excess power at the same cost the Lewes Board of Public Works pays wholesale, so there will be no additional charge to Lewes customers.

The turbine is also expected to facilitate research involving turbine corrosion, avian impacts and policy issues related to renewable energy, according to the university.

In related news, UD and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will partner for five years to develop shallow-water research zones where offshore wind technologies can be built and tested, the News Journal reports.

SOURCES: University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment; The News Journal  

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