Maryland PSC awards ORECs for 368MW offshore wind project developments

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US Wind Inc. and Skipjack Offshore Wind LLC were awarded ORECs valued at a levelized cost of $131.93/MWh for a 20-year term, and the impact on ratepayer bills is projected to be about $1.40/month. 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 only other offshore wind project in the country, located off the coast of Rhode Island, has five turbines.

The MPSC says the decision will enable U.S. Wind, Inc. and Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC to construct 368 megawatts of capacity, together yielding over $1.8 billion of in-state spending, spurring the creation of nearly 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs and contributing $74 million in state tax revenues over 20 years. We believe it represents a step forward in proving offshore wind as a means of renewable power generation, but also in delivering a new industry to the state of Maryland that has potential to create meaningful manufacturing and logistics jobs. It will cost an estimated $1.4 billion to build. It would cost about $720 million to develop and would open in November 2022.

The partnership of the two companies is expected to bring extensive wind expertise and substantial financial firepower to the Commonwealth's initiative to build offshore wind projects in MA.

Kevin Hughes said the approval "brings to fruition the General Assembly's efforts to establish Maryland as a regional hub for this burgeoning industry". Martin O'Malley, a Democrat.

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As a result the commission said it was placing the turbines the furthest out from the shoreline as possible.

They said that because of the longer planning and permitting times now needed for offshore wind no additional projects are projected to be able to qualify for tax credits before they expire in 2019. The companies must use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance (O&M) activities, and invest at least a combined Dollars 76 million in a local steel fabrication plant, while also financing not less than USD 39.6 million to support port upgrades at the Tradepoint Atlantic.

The PSC said the two projects are expected to yield more than $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.

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".