Maryland Offshore Wind Projects Move Forward
Deepwater Wind and US Wind have notified the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) on their acceptance of the conditions set out by the PSC earlier this month upon approving offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) to two projects to be built off the state’s coast, according to The Baltimore Sun. The two developers have thus taken a new step forward to building their offshore wind farms off Maryland, with US Wind’s project expected to be operational in January 2020 and the Skipjack offshore wind farm anticipated to be put into operation November 2022.In its order from 11 May, the PSC stated that each company must notify the Commission by 25 May whether it accepts the conditions of approval contained in the order. The PSC further added that awarding of ORECs is contingent on approval by the federal government of the developers’ site assessment plans, construction and operations plans, and other processes as required.The Commission attached nearly 30 conditions to the approval, including requirements that the developers create a minimum of 4,977 direct jobs during the development, construction and operating phases of the projects, pass 80% of any construction costs savings to ratepayers, and contribute $6 million (approx. EUR 5.4 million) each to the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund.The companies are also required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities. The developers must invest collectively at least $76 million (approx. EUR 67.8 million) in a steel fabrication plant in Maryland and together fund at least $39.6 million (approx. EUR 35.3 million) to support port upgrades at the Tradepoint Atlantic, formerly Sparrows Point, shipyard in Baltimore County.Among the conditions is also the requirement for each developer to create opportunities for minority-owned companies to participate as investors as well as in the development and construction of the projects.