Maryland regulators greenlight two major offshore wind projects

Kathleen Mckinney
May 13, 2017

According to the commission's independent consultant, Levitan & Associates Inc, the net ratepayer bill impacts associated with the commission's approval are projected to be less than US$1.40 per month for residential customers and less than a 1.4 per cent impact on the annual bills of commercial and industrial customers - both less than the ratepayer impacts authorised by the enabling legislation, the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. 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.

The U.S.' first offshore wind project, Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm, began operations in December after being initiated almost nine years ago, the lawmakers point out.

The decision benefits US Wind Inc and Deepwater Wind's Skipjack Offshore Energy LLC, each of which will receive ORECs at a levelized price of United States dollars 131.93 (EUR 121.4) per MWh for a term of 20 years.

The construction of the Gemini Offshore Wind Park costs approximately $3 billion.

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. It would cost about $720 million to develop and would open in November 2022.

"The "all-in" approach to offshore wind that we undertake today signals to our neighbors and the world that Maryland is ready to serve as a regional hub and a substantial base for additional offshore wind development up and down the East Coast, thus yielding sustained job growth for many years to come. -88192-Case-No. -9431-Offshore-Wind.pdf">order included more than two dozen conditions, including requirements that the developers create nearly 5,000 direct jobs during the development, construction and operating phases of the projects. The companies will be required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities.

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

Conditions to the OREC approval include a requirement that these companies invest at least $76 million in Maryland steel-making and a further $39.6 million in upgraded infrastructure at the Tradepoint Atlantic shipyard.

"I believe this decision creates tremendous opportunities for Maryland", said commissioner Michael T Richard.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

Discuss This Article