Offshore Wind for Maryland?

Posted on September 23, 2009. Filed under: News | Tags: , , |

 

Offshore Wind (From Wind Guys)

Offshore Wind (From Wind Guys)

The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced last week that it was planning to explore the offshore wind potential for its coast and Outer Continental Shelf region.

 

So far, the state is just beginning to gather information and speak with relevant experts, including European companies. Also last week, Maryland representatives attended a European Offshore Wind Energy Conference in Sweden. The conference featured a session called, “Maryland: An Accelerated Strategy to develop 2000+ MW of Off-shore Wind Energy” put on by the MEA. 

There is certainly a lot of optimism about the feasibility and utility of offshore wind for the state. Governor O’Malley offered these remarks: 

“Offshore wind energy offers vast potential to create jobs for our workers and to help stabilize electric costs for our families while also increasing grid stability…the benefits of the clean energy generated from offshore wind may prove to be vital for our State’s energy and environmental future.”

A viability study will continue to build off the work of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Nature Conservancy. MEA Director Malcom Woolf explained that offshore wind could help Maryland satisfy its Renewable Portfolio Standard of 20% by 2022 and noted that: 

Offshore wind has the potential to supply more renewable energy than any other resource in the region” 

Beyond the economic feasibility, the study by the Nature Conservancy and the Maryland DNR is meant to evaluate the impact of the turbines on marine life, birds and bats. Additionally, communities along the shore have concerns about the appearance of the wind turbines. The Baltimore Sun reported

“State officials, meanwhile, plan to huddle with local leaders to test community sentiment in Maryland’s beach resort to having turbines visible on the eastern horizon–though wind developers say their generators would appear no larger than a toothpick at those distances”

Woolf commented that he hoped to avoid long-standing community debates that stalled the development of offshore wind like those in Cape Cod

It will be interesting to follow what happens with the viability study and track the public reaction to this plan…Will Maryland follow New Jersey and Delaware in supporting offshore wind resources? 

 


 

 

 

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[…] governor o'malley, jobs, local news, state policy, wind energy | Back in September, Maryland announced that it was considering plans for offshore wind development. Now, it seems like the initiative is […]


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