Library from Maryland
OCEAN CITY — With the clock ticking on a Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) decision on one of two offshore wind project proposals off the coast of Ocean City, or perhaps both, resort officials this week decided to fire off another letter expressing their desire to have the turbines far enough beyond the horizon to have zero visual impact on the town.
Councilman Tony DeLuca, who first asked the council send a letter of opposition to the U.S. Wind’s proposal, still had reservations about this project’s visual impact. “I’ve talked to three engineers and all of them told me that with the curvature of the earth and the horizon, they would have to be at least 26 miles offshore to be not visible at all,” DeLuca said.
US Wind reached out to the town offering to move the wind farm another five miles out, if need be. While council member and secretary Mary Knight expressed optimism in US Wind's willingness to compromise, her concerns still remained that the projects could have a negative impact on Ocean City.
“US Wind understands the council’s opinions regarding viewshed impacts of the offshore wind project and has taken these publicly expressed concerns seriously,” the letter reads. “To further address your concerns, US Wind remains willing to discuss altering the current wind project layout in an attempt to reduce viewshed impacts for Ocean City."
Other than arguing that these wind farms would be good for the planet and reduce our dependence on foreign oil or domestic coal, there isn’t one thing in these proposals that Ocean City government can take to its constituents and its visitors and say, “Look, here’s what we stand to gain, so balance that out with what we stand to lose.”
This is a photosimulation of U.S. Wind's proposed offshore wind facility to be sited 12-miles off the coast of Maryland. U.S. Wind secured the lease rights to two locations off the coast of Ocean City. In total the company is seeking permission to erect up to 187 turbines (750 MW) within an 80,000-acre area.
After getting a glimpse of “dramatic” renderings of the potential offshore wind energy farm last month, resort officials this week unanimously agreed to send a letter voicing opposition to the close proximity of the project to the shore.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan says he may have underestimated how big a "thumbnail" would be when it comes to gauging the visual impact of a proposed wind project off the coast. "They always talked about thumbnails," Meehan said. "Well, they're a little bigger than a thumbnail."
The Maryland Public Service Commission will begin what could be two weeks of hearings on proposals from two developers to build wind farms in the Atlantic Ocean off Maryland. The two developers are competing for up to $1.9 billion in subsidies over 20 years, paid for by the state’s electricity ratepayers, a crucial financing mechanism for developers to recoup the cost of building the massive wind farms.
A public hearing held at Stephen Dacatur High School Tuesday, focused on what residents had to say regarding plans to build a meteorological tower in Ocean City.
A wind-power developer hoping to place 17 turbines atop Dan's Mountain is appealing an administrative judge's order that effectively killed the project.
The requirement is expected to make electricity more expensive, but it's not clear by how much. ...The governor derided the new renewable energy requirement as a "sunshine and wind tax," and his campaign paid for a website that enabled Marylanders to send emails asking lawmakers to stop it.
The House on Tuesday special ordered the bill until Jan. 31, for the second time this session, in order to swear in new members filling recent vacancies and gather the 85 votes needed for an override. Hershey said Senate President Mike Miller honored his commitment and “extended the courtesy to us today.”
In a draft order, a Public Utility Law Judge has recommended that the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) deny a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) permit for the construction of the Dan's Mountain Wind Farm.
On January 14, 2016, Dan's Mountain Wind Force LLC filed an application for Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) with the Maryland PSC to construct a 59.9 megawatt wind energy facility in Allegany County Maryland. The application to the PSC came after the company could not obtain a permit though the County's permitting process and after they asked for and received an exemption from the state for a CPCN back in 2008. Dan's Mountain returned to the PSC in an effort to go around the County's denials. Following an adjudicative hearing, this order was issued by the PSC denying the project. The Findings and Conclusions by Terry J. Romine, the Chief Public Utility Law Judge for the Maryland PSC, can be found below. The full order can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
"Overall, in weighing the benefits against the adverse impacts that are unable to be mitigated ... I find that the benefits that may accrue to the public at large by construction of the wind project do not justify or offset subjecting the local community to the adverse impacts that will result from the wind projects construction and operation."
In the 50-page opinion, Judge Dennis Sober wrote, “I find the evidence in support of the granting of a (Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity) falls short of proving that the Project meets the standard of Public Convenience and Necessity. I find that the weight of the evidence pertaining to the location of the Project is more negative than positive in its persuasive value of creating benefits to (Kent County) and Maryland.”
Public Utility Law Judge Dennis H. Sober of the Maryland Public Service Commission, has denied a permit for Apex Clean Energy, Inc to construct the Mills Branch Solar project proposed for Kent County Maryland. The project was expected to have a nameplate capacity of 60 MW spread across 330 acres of Maryland farmland. The project was opposed by the Kent County board of Commissioners and residents in the area. Apex previously tried to site a wind energy facility in the same area on 5,000 acres but opposition to the turbines forced the company to change from wind to solar. A portion of Judge Sober's decision is provided below. The full decision can be accessed by clicking the document icon on this page.
Amelia Chasse, a spokeswoman for Hogan, said the governor has consistently supported efforts that promote clean air and clean water. "However, the governor will not do this at the expense of Maryland's ratepayers," Chasse said. ...Chasse said proponents of the bill "need to get their facts straight." She noted Hogan signed legislation in 2015 to expand the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.
CHESTERTOWN — At the Kent County Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Amy Moredock, director of planning, housing and zoning, gave a departmental update.