Thursday, May 11, 2017

Offshore Wind Power in Maryland

Today's energy news:
Maryland regulators on Thursday approved plans for the nation's first large-scale offshore wind projects, saying the decision will position the state to be a leader in the developing industry.

The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded renewable energy credits for two projects off Maryland's Eastern Shore near Ocean City. The PSC says the decision allows US Wind of Baltimore and Skipjack Offshore Energy, a subsidiary of Deepwater Wind, to build a total of 368 megawatts of capacity. . . .

US Wind's proposal is to build 62 turbines between 12 and 15 nautical miles offshore to generate 248 megawatts. It will cost an estimated $1.4 billion to build. Skipjack's plan is for 15 turbines between 17 and 21 miles offshore to produce 120 megawatts. It will cost about $720 million to build.
There are still other regulatory hurdles to overcome, but the PSC's ruling allowing the developers to claim renewal energy credits was widely seen as the key decision. Incidentally this was set in motion five years ago by our then governor Martin O'Malley, who was a dismal presidential candidate but did some interesting stuff as governor.

These projects will generate nearly 5,000 jobs in construction and steel fabrication, and they will lead to a significant investment in the Port of Baltimore. This, not coal, is the future.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

I'm curious how they're planning to address extreme weather scenarios.

To my knowledge, most offshore wind turbines to date have been in Europe, and you simply don't get the same frequency or severity of major storms that the Eastern Seaboard does. The North Sea and The Baltic get their share of rough weather, but they don't exactly deal with hurricanes.