Rehoboth officials table discussion on US Wind proposal

Commissioners decide to wait until federal government rules on project later this year
January 26, 2024

Story Location:
Rehoboth Beach City Hall
229 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
United States

With a final decision coming later this year from the federal government on US Wind’s proposed offshore wind farm, Rehoboth Beach officials have decided to table discussions on the company’s proposed community benefit agreement until that decision is made.

The city got ahead of itself, said Mayor Stan Mills during a commissioner meeting Jan. 19.

In ocean waters due east of Ocean City, Md., Baltimore-based wind power company US Wind has proposed the installation of up to 121 turbines, up to four offshore substation platforms, one meteorological tower and up to four offshore export cable corridors with landfall occurring within Delaware Seashore State Park at 3R’s Beach, just south of Indian River Inlet. The company’s preferred cable path goes under Indian River Bay before coming out at the Delmarva Power substation at the Indian River power plant near Dagsboro.

Almost a month ago, the company announced it was working with area coastal towns on a package of proposed community benefits that includes annual payments of $100,000 over 20 years for each town. In return for the money, towns would agree to not exercise discretionary authority to obstruct or delay development of the projects.

Rehoboth officials and Mike Dunmyer, US Wind Delaware development manager, discussed the topic during a Jan. 8 workshop. At the time, commissioners had a number of questions, including how much time they had to consider the offer before making a decision.

A couple weeks later, during a Jan. 19 meeting, Dunmyer said US Wind was perfectly happy to wait for an answer from the city until the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management makes its decision on the company’s project. That ruling is expected to be made by late summer or fall 2024, he said.

Before tabling the discussion completely, and while the city waits for BOEM’s decision, Commissioner Don Preston asked that City Solicitor Alex Burns examine the community agreement to see what the city would be giving up if it were to sign the agreement.

Commissioner Edward Chrzanowski said he did some research on the subject and saw that the company building Vineyard Wind, a wind farm near Martha’s Vineyard, offered those communities an agreement worth $20 million over seven years. With that in mind, he said, when discussions resume, he would like Dunmyer to have an explanation for how US Wind came up with its proposal for Delaware’s coastal communities.

Henlopen Acres on similar timeline

The same week Dunmyer made his original presentation to Rehoboth officials, he made a similar presentation Jan. 12 to Henlopen Acres officials. At the close of their discussion, commissioners decided the best course of action would be to inform town residents about the wind farm projects before taking any action.

Upon hearing that Rehoboth had tabled its discussions until a decision is made at the federal level, Mayor Joni Reich said the town will be educating residents on the projects and the community agreement this coming summer, when more of them are in town.

“Thus, our timeline for reconsidering the agreement is likely the same as the other coastal towns, namely in the fall of this year, after BOEM makes a definitive ruling on the environmental statement and project,” said Reich in an email Jan. 23.


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