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Maryland backs offshore double act

Deepwater and US Wind projects totalling 368MW win OREC support

Maryland backs offshore double act image

Deepwater Wind and US Wind have secured offshore renewable energy credits from the US state of Maryland for wind farms totalling 368MW.

The Maryland Public Service Commission said today the 120MW Skipjack and 248MW Maryland offshore wind farms will be awarded support at a levelised price of $131.93 per megawatt-hour for a term of 20 years

Funding will begin in January 2021 for US Wind and in 2023 for Deepwater.

“The approval today of the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind projects brings to fruition the General Assembly’s efforts to establish Maryland as a regional hub for this burgeoning industry,” said MPSC chairman Kevin Hughes.

Deepwater proposes to build the 15-turbine Skipjack off neighboring Delaware, while US Wind plans to build the 62-turbine Maryland project as the first phase of a 750MW wind farm.

The commission attached nearly 30 conditions to the approval, including requirements that the developers create a minimum of 4977 direct jobs during the development, construction and operating phases of the projects.

Both developers must also pass 80% of any construction costs savings to ratepayers and contribute $6m each to the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund.

The companies will be required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities.

In addition, the developers must invest collectively at least $76m in a steel fabrication plant in Maryland and together fund at least $39.6m to support port upgrades at the Tradepoint Atlantic – formerly Sparrows Point – shipyard in Baltimore County.

US Wind’s Maryland project, consisting of Siemens 4MW or GE 6MW technology, is expected to start operation in November 2022.

US Wind said the decision enables its plans to make Maryland the East Coast hub of a vibrant new industry.

US Wind director of project development for US Wind Paul Rich said: “This decision cements Maryland as a first-mover – we will now be the epicenter of this exciting new industry for decades to come.

“The decision is in and now we're ready to get to work.”

Deepwater’s 15-turbine Skipjack is based on Siemens 8MW hardware and expected online in November 2022.

Image: Deepwater Wind's 30MW Block Island wind farm

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