The state administration of Maryland, US, has set a goal of achieving 8.5 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2035, by which time the state aims to have 100 per cent of clean energy in its energy mix.
To support this target, the administration is working to establish new lease areas and strengthen the offshore wind supply chain.
The now-planned 8.5 GW (enough to power nearly three million homes) are four times the amount of capacity the state has so far secured through offshore wind solicitations.
In 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) awarded offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) to US Wind’s and Ørsted’s 248 MW MarWin and 120 MW Skipjack 1 projects. In 2021, the two developers won ORECs for their 808.5 MW Momentum Wind (US Wind) and 846 MW Skipjack Wind 2 (Ørsted) offshore wind farms.
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) initiated the federal permitting process for the projects at US Wind’s offshore wind lease area last year.
The state’s offshore wind target for 2035 was announced by Maryland Governor Wes Moore during the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF) in Baltimore, organised by the Business Network for Offshore Wind at the end of March.
The governor also highlighted initiatives aimed at building a more economically competitive state such as the wind energy partnerships between US Wind and Tradepoint Atlantic and Ørsted and Tradepoint Atlantic, which are said to create nearly 15,000 jobs.
“The clean energy industry represents tremendous economic benefit for Maryland and it is important we have a strategy in place to not only grow our existing companies, but create a business climate that attracts new clean energy companies and global investment”, said the Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Kevin A. Anderson. “Working one-on-one with this industry, we will better understand their challenges and opportunities, and help them thrive in our state”.
During a plenary keynote speech at IPF, Governor Moore also announced that the Maryland Department of Commerce has created a dedicated position that will ensure industry access to an array of state resources and create an environment conducive to startups, attracting investment and assisting established firms with growth, expansion, and workforce development.
Furthermore, the Maryland Energy Administration will also focus on delivering more grants to companies that form key connections along the offshore wind supply chain, including those that develop turbines, blades, cables, and other mechanical parts.
“We need to join forces across communities, states, and countries to invest in this emerging industry – and Maryland will be the headquarters of that work. I applaud Governor Moore for his leadership in this arena. He knows, as I know, that the stakes are too high for us to fail”, said Maryland Energy Administration Director Paul Pinsky.
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