Office of the President

Dr. Patrick T. Harker is the 26th president of the University of Delaware. He also serves as professor of business administration in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering.

Wind Turbine Commissioning
Hugh R. Sharp Campus, Lewes
June 11, 2010

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Good morning. It’s a great day for sustainability in Delaware!

I thank Nancy Targett for her leadership in UD’s wind-power effort. Dean Targett and professors Jeremy Firestone and Willett Kempton were the chief minds and advocates behind a coastal wind turbine on the Hugh R. Sharp campus, and I thank them for their vision—a vision made real today.

In fact, I thank the entire College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment for embracing this project with such passion and enthusiasm, and for proving that UD can—and will—be a national center for wind-energy science and policy.

Of course, I thank the Gamesa Corporation, our partner in this project, and I’d like to acknowledge Chairman & CEO Dirk Matthys and Chief Technology Officer José Antonio Malumbres. This has been a true collaboration from the beginning, and we appreciate the company’s unequaled expertise.

We’re also grateful for vigorous local, state, and national support. Governor Markell and DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara are invaluable champions of this turbine, because they understand its important environmental and economic impact. So do the residents of this beautiful, historic city, and I thank Lewes Mayor Jim Ford for being here today.

I’m so glad Senator Carper is with us; he’s a powerful voice for America’s green economy. And I thank Delaware’s full Congressional delegation for its support. I also thank Michael Robinson and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory for their significant advocacy and expertise.


Clearly, making Delaware a hub for groundbreaking environmental science & progressive policy is a collaborative effort. We’ve got big backing in Delaware, and a community ready for change.

This turbine is important to the University’s ambitious sustainability goals—to reducing our carbon footprint and upping our clean-energy supply.

But the turbine isn’t just an emissions-free energy source. It begins our critical research in turbine durability and impacts—research that can shape the nation’s conversation about wind-power potential and policy, and pave the way for the first offshore turbine in the Americas.

Delaware should get used to this role as a thought leader when it comes to alternative energy and the environment.

This very campus is the birthplace of vehicle-to-grid technology, allowing electric vehicles to store energy in their batteries and send it back to the grid at peak hours. Last fall, Governor Markell signed the nation’s first bill requiring utilities to compensate owners of V2G cars for electricity returned to the grid—at the same rate paid to charge the batteries themselves.

And, in January, AutoPort in New Castle became UD’s first-ever proprietary V2G-licensed company. It’s now retrofitting the first 100 commercial vehicles as a proof-of-concept demonstration. This is just one project that’s generating innovative science, good policy, and substantial economic dividends.

Now multiply that: Because across the University, we’re hosting cutting-edge renewable-energy research—in areas like high-efficiency solar cells and novel biofuels. And, just a few months ago, we won a stimulus grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to estimate Delaware’s demand for green services and products, and to identify the labor-force skills that we’ll need to develop in order to maximize the State’s green processes.

This is a movement. It’s a movement that will bring Delaware deserved prominence and prosperity. It’s one that will secure our natural resources and preserve our beautiful land- and seascapes. And it’s one that will inaugurate a greener, more sustainable way of life.

I thank all of you for your support and partnership as we pursue these critical goals.

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