Library from Maryland
Starting in 2020 Maryland’s electricity consumers will be paying higher electric bills in order to subsidize two wind projects to be developed off the Ocean City waterfront. Over the lives of these projects the subsidies will total more than $2 billion. Despite this exorbitant cost the projects will deliver no environmental benefits and, most likely, will contribute to global warming. How did this lose-lose situation come about?
Two months ago, Maryland regulators signed off on the state’s first two offshore wind farms.
In May, the Maryland Public Service Commission approved electricity-rate increases to fund two wind projects off the Ocean City shoreline. Over their 20-year life spans, these projects will cost Maryland electricity consumers more than $2 billion. Will they deliver economic benefits that justify their costs? Almost certainly not.
The Maryland Public Service Commission has sided with a public utility law judge’s order denying a wind-power developer’s request to construct a 17-turbine wind farm on Dan’s Mountain, effectively killing the project.
The developers of two wind farms planned off the coast of Ocean City are moving forward with their projects, accepting terms Maryland regulators laid out earlier this month in allowing them to collect subsidies from the state's electricity customers.
“Think about what 200 windmills would do to the sunrise,” James said to Harris on May 11. “People come here to enjoy that. They’ll be walking on the beach, seeing these things that are 670 feet tall. They say we’ll benefit from this, but it’s Delaware, Virginia and New Jersey beaches that’s going to benefit.”
The PSC decision comes just a week after the Mayor and Council fired off another strongly worded letter to the regulatory agency expressing a desire to have the offshore turbines sited at least 26 miles off the coast, or a distance determined to far enough out to have a zero visual impact from the shoreline.
Maryland waters could be home to some of the nation's first — and by far its largest — offshore wind farms under a decision issued Thursday by the state Public Service Commission to approve two projects.
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.