Maryland Regulators OK Nation's Largest Offshore Wind Plan

Francis Osborne
May 13, 2017

Two US Democratic senators and a Republican congressman have reintroduced legislation in the US Congress to extend tax credits for offshore wind to 2025 from the current 2019 cut off. The project envisages erecting 62 wind turbines about 12-15 miles (19.3-24.1 km) off the coast of Maryland for a total power generating capacity of 248 MW.

Deepwater Wind is the developer of the country's first operational offshore wind park - the 30-MW Block Island plant located off the coast of Rhode Island, which went live in December 2016.

Deepwater Wind operates the first offshore wind project in the USA, the 30-MW Block Island project off Rhode Island that began operations in December.

Thanks to the scale of the project, the much-reduced costs of building wind farms, and improved efficiencies of the technology, Gemini's owners anticipate that it will lead to a significant reduction in the price of this source of renewable energy. It would cost about $720 million to develop and would open in November 2022.

Skipjack is a unit of Deepwater Wind, the same company behind the Block Island project that opened past year.

"The approval today of the first large-scale offshore wind projects in the U.S. brings to fruition the general assembly's efforts to establish Maryland as a regional hub for this burgeoning industry", said W Kevin Hughes, commission chairman.

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The Maryland General Assembly approved a regulatory framework for offshore wind in 2013, after repeated efforts by then-Gov. The commission says the impact on utility bills is expected to be less than $1.40 a month for residential customers and less than 1.4 percent on the annual bills of commercial and industrial customers, according to the commission's independent consultant, Levitan & Associates. "Offshore wind is coming to the Atlantic Coast, and we want to be part of this exciting new industry".

The projects are expected to generate almost $2 billion in spending for Maryland creating almost 97-hundred jobs over the next 20 years.

The plan includes a focus on developing port facilities in the Baltimore area and Ocean City.

Together, the two projects are seen yielding over Dollars 1.8 billion of in-state spending.

US Wind leads the industry and labor representatives on a tour today of the 3,100-acre former Sparrows Point steel mill, a site being redeveloped by Tradepoint Atlantic.

"I believe this decision creates tremendous opportunities for Maryland", PSC Commissioner Michael Richard said in the statement.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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