Maryland clears 368 MW of offshore wind projects

Waters off the coast of Maryland will be home to not one but two offshore wind farms under a decision issued

Maryland regulators OK nation's largest offshore wind plan

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.

As proposed, the U.S. Wind offshore wind farm would cost about $1.375 billion to develop with 62 turbines about 12 to 15 miles off the Maryland coast.

"They would be the second and third utility-scale offshore wind farms in United States waters, after the Block Island Wind Farm opened previous year off Rhode Island's coast with five turbines".

The offshore wind projects represent a combined capacity of 368 MW and could yield $1.8 billion in in-state spending, according to a press release, while bringing almost 9,700 indirect and direct jobs.

"Ventower Industries is excited about the opportunity to work with US Wind and our local partners to build and expand the supply chain for the growing offshore wind industry here in the United States", said Gregory Adanin, president and CEO.

"We have taken great care to ensure that this decision maximizes economic and environmental benefits to the state while minimizing costs to Maryland ratepayers", PSC Chairman Kevin Hughes said in a statement.

The other three stakeholders are: Siemens Wind Power, the wind turbine manufacturer (20 percent); the waste processing company HVC (10 percent); and Dutch contractors Van Oord (10 percent), who specialize in offshore projects.

The Maryland General Assembly approved a regulatory framework for offshore wind in 2013, after repeated efforts by then-Gov.

A picture from Cathie Associates visit to the US' first commercial offshore wind farm; Block Island.

"This decision cements Maryland as a first-mover - we will now be the epicenter of this exciting new industry for decades to come", said Paul Rich, director of project development for US Wind. The plant is expected to become operational in November 2022. The company will begin the installation process for the tower immediately and next focus on its application for a Construction and Operations Plan to be submitted later this year to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.

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

Commissioner Michael Richard said the wind farms will "enables us to meet our clean, renewable energy goals using energy generated within the state while conditioning our approval on holding project developers to their promises of creating jobs and spurring economic growth".

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