Maryland approves two offshore wind projects
- The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded offshore renewable energy credits to two offshore wind projects after attaching nearly 30 conditions to their approval, including a jobs-creation requirement.
- 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 nearly 9,700 indirect and direct jobs.
- 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.
Maryland set a course to become one of the top offshore wind developers after opening a docket at the end of last year to review two proposed projects.
US Wind Inc., a subsidiary of Toto Holding SpA, and Skipjack Offshore Wind LLC, owned by Deepwater Wind Holdings, are the two companies receiving the ORECS for the projects.
The Skipjack Wind farm project will total 120 MW and come online in 2022. The US Wind's project is bigger at 248 MW, and will come online by the beginning 2020. Combined, the pricetags of the projects total $2.09 billion.
Both wind projects could help meet goals laid out in the state's Offshore Wind Energy Act, signed in 2013, which requires 2.5% of Maryland's energy to come from offshore wind projects, as well as the 25% renewable energy standard it must meet by 2020.
According to regulators, the projects are expected to cut carbon emissions by 19,000 tons annually for 20 years to help meet Maryland's goal to reduce emissions 40% by 2030, and slowly wean off reliance on out-of-state RECs.
Offshore wind began gathering momentum following the successful completion of the nation's first offshore wind project off Rhode Island's coast. The 30 MW, five-turbine project fired up its turbines at the end of last year.
New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to have 2.4 GW of offshore wind online by 2030 and is backing a 90 MW offshore wind farm. Massachusetts is another looking to invest in more offshore wind after lawmakers directed the state's major utilities to procure 1,600 MW of offshore wind by 2027.
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