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Survey results for Ørsted connection facility released

No decision by DNREC on wind farm landing site in Fenwick Island State Park
July 5, 2020

Story Location:
Fenwick Island State Park
Fenwick Island  Delaware  19944
United States

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has released the survey results related to the proposed electrical interconnection facility in Fenwick Island State Park for Skipjack Wind Farm, a 120-megawatt-producing wind farm due east of Delaware’s beaches.

In fall 2019, the company building the project, Ørsted, introduced a proposal to connect the wind farm to the power grid by building a facility on the Little Assawoman Bay side of Fenwick Island State Park. In return, Ørsted proposed roughly $18 million worth of improvements to the state park. Soon after the proposal was announced, DNREC opened a public comment window on the project that lasted until January of this year.

In a press release July 1, DNREC said it received 2,692 survey submissions on the proposed park improvements. As proposed, improvements would include a two-story parking structure, a Route 1 pedestrian crossover connecting the bay and the ocean, an outdoor amphitheater, housing for lifeguards, a new park bathhouse, a new building for the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and an overall improvement in roadway infrastructure.

According to survey results, 44 percent said they would like DNREC to renovate the existing parking area and/or create additional parking facilities; 32 percent want the bathhouse and restroom facilities to be renovated and expanded; 13 percent would like additional food concessionaires; and 12 percent felt the proposed improvements would improve traffic flow and parking at Fenwick Island State Park. 

The release says DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin has not made a decision on the use of the state park. If he does, said the release, the next step requires detailed planning and all associated permitting.

It’s unclear when Garvin will make a decision. In an email July 1, Shauna McVey, DNREC spokesperson, said there is no set timeline as Garvin weighs the potential benefits and impacts on the park.

Earlier this year, Ørsted announced the anticipated completion date of Skipjack Wind Farm had been pushed back a year to late 2023.

To see the survey results, and read the questions and answers, go to www.destateparks.com/FenwickImprovements.

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