Maryland clears 368 MW of offshore wind projects

Maryland clears 368 MW of offshore wind projects

Paul Rich, director of project development for U.S. Wind, said the commission's decision will help draw manufacturers to the state and make it the primary producer of materials for others that embrace offshore wind.

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.

Each company has awarded ORECs at a levelised price of $131.93 per MWh for 20 years, commencing in January 2021 for US Wind and January 2023 for Skipjack Offshore Energy.

The projects by U.S. Wind Inc. and Skipjack Offshore Energy would have a combined 368 megawatts of capacity with 77 turbines at least 14 miles off the coast, Maryland's Public Service Commission said. Additionally, the Netherlands' new wind farm also has two offshore high-voltage substations connected to the land station in Eemshaven by a 110-kilometer export cable.

US Wind's 62-turbine, 248-MW project, 12 to 15 nautical miles offshore, has an estimated cost of $1.375 billion and is expected to begin operations in January 2020.

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The projects are expected to generate almost $2 billion in spending for Maryland creating almost 97-hundred jobs over the next 20 years. The project was created to serve as an example of the tremendous potential that offshore wind power holds for the United States.

Block Island residents, who are now connected to the larger grid will enjoy not only cleaner energy, but also lower and more predictable electric bills. The companies will be required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities. Each company must notify the Commission by May 25, 2017 whether it accepts the conditions of approval contained in the order.

Offshore wind development has already made important progress in Rhode Island and NY, while Maryland joins MA as states developing their offshore resources under Republican governors. U.S. Wind, headquartered in Boston, is a subsdiary of Italy's Toto Holding. They are expected to cost residential ratepayers less than $1.40 per month while increasing the electricity bills of commercial and industrial customers by less than 1.4 percent a year, according to the commission.

The commission said the proposed offshore wind projects in Maryland would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 19,000 tons a year for two decades, helping the state reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

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