Maryland Act Boosts Offshore Wind Market
Maryland state lawmakers have passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) of 2019, which would incentivize the development of 1.2 GW of additional offshore wind energy off the coast of Maryland.
US Wind Country Manager Salvo Vitale testified last month before the Senate Finance Committee and House Economic Matters Committee urging passage of the legislation while citing the significant economic benefits that the legislation would make possible by incentivizing the development of 1,200 MegaWatts of additional offshore wind energy off the coast of Maryland.
"The benefits are many and will prove transformational to Maryland's economy: 5,000-7,000 direct jobs, an additional $18 million to be deposited in the Offshore Wind Business Development Fund, approximately $5 billion in new capital expenditures; and thousands of tons more of carbon emissions reduced or avoided altogether," said Vitale.
Similar measures have been enacted in New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey, along with other states, to incentivize nearly 20 gigawatts of offshore wind energy development.
These developments have led to a surge in supply chain companies of all sizes seeking to locate new facilities throughout the East Coast in order to meet the growing needs of a burgeoning energy sector. These include turbine and cable manufacturing, steel fabricators, and marine construction companies, among others.
Maryland was the forerunner in offshore wind development with the passage of the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. US Wind was successful in securing the federal lease to develop approximately 1,000 Megawatts of offshore wind energy through a competitive bid process.
In May, 2017, US Wind's project was approved to receive offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) for an initial phase, involving the placement of approximately 32 wind turbines in federal water off the coast of Maryland (as far east in its federally-designated wind energy area as practical).
The MarWin project, as it's known, will generate approximately 270 Megawatt (MW) of energy, enough to power more than 76,000 homes each and every day of the year. During this Construction phase, approximately 1,298 direct jobs will be created, generating over $370 million in economic development activity in Baltimore City and Baltimore County alone.
During the Operation and Maintenance phase, expected to last 20 to 25 years, it is estimated by the independent third-party management consulting firm hired by the Maryland Public Service Commission that US Wind's project will result in nearly $850 million of in-state economic impact, and the creation of 4,116 Full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs.