Chesapeake PSR

Maryland moves forward on offshore wind

Climate Change and EnergyTimothy WhitehouseComment

Offshore wind is moving forward in Maryland. On May 11, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the application of two offshore wind projects, a 248-megawatt (MW) development proposed by U.S. Wind Inc., and a 120-MW project development proposed by Skipjack Offshore Energy LLC. The PSC approval grants Skipjack and U.S. Wind offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs), enabling them to move forward with their proposals.

Estimates are that these two projects will spur $1.8 billion in investments, create 9,700 direct and indirect jobs, and contribute $74 million in taxes over 20 years.

In a press release from the Maryland Climate Coalition, Sara Via, PhD, co-lead of Chesapeake PSR’s Climate Health Action Team said, “Marylanders suffer from a very high incidence of asthma, cardiovascular disease and premature death from air pollution emitted by Maryland’s coal-fired power plants. Offshore wind will greatly reduce these health risks by providing pollution-free power. A recent study from Harvard estimates that the health benefits of an offshore wind project approximately the size proposed by U.S. Wind will amount to about $120 per month per family, at a cost the PSC estimates will be only about $1 per month. That’s a great return on investment.”

U.S. Wind is planning to bring online 62 turbines located 15 miles offshore of Ocean City by 2020. Skipjack is planning to bring online 15 turbines located 26 miles from Ocean City by 2022.

Chesapeake PSR provided written and oral testimony in support of both projects. The Maryland offshore wind projects will create jobs, promote clean air, and deliver cost-effective and reliable energy.

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