Articles filed under Offshore Wind from Maryland
“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."
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.
The commission said it had opened its formal review of proposals from US Wind Inc., a subsidiary of Italian energy and construction giant Toto Holdings SpA, and Skipjack Offshore Wind LLC, a subsidiary of Deepwater Wind Holdings LLC. Approval from the commission is necessary for either project to secure offshore renewable energy credits.
After weeks of surveying the offshore area and mapping the sea floor, followed by months of interpreting data and polishing a formal report on the project, Paul Rich, director of project development at U.S. Wind, reports the Shearwater survey vessel didn’t find much of anything on the leased site of a proposed wind farm off the coast of Ocean City.
Other wind projects have been proposed along the Atlantic coast in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Delaware, but all have been slowed or stalled by regulatory, political and financial challenges. ...Nevertheless, US Wind is "very bullish" on the prospects for offshore wind in the United States.
Virginia company earlier won auction for project off the coast of its home state
Gov. Martin O'Malley's bill promoting offshore wind farms is moving through the state Senate ...Republicans also got the floor leader for the bill, Sen. Thomas Middleton, D-Charles, to concede that offshore wind power is the most expensive form of renewable energy.
Gov. Martin O'Malley's Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 passed in the House of Delegates by a 86-48 vote on Friday, much to the chagrin of some Eastern Shore delegation members. The bill proposes to build an offshore wind energy facility at least 10 miles off the coast of Ocean City.
Maryland's bid to become the first state to build an offshore wind farm took a step forward this week when the House of Delegates approved a wind energy infrastructure bill.
The measure sidestepped eight amendments proposed by House Republicans, aiming to restrict the project's cost on the state and taxpayers. Republican Delegate Patrick McDonough of Baltimore and Harford counties noted that the offshore wind bill, if successful, would fail to meet the state's energy needs.
Jeff Zellmer of the Maryland Retailers Association told committee members the measure would cost jobs, not create them. The bill would limit rate increases for residential customers to $1.50 a month and businesses to 1.5 percent. However, Zellmer said supermarkets operate on a 2 percent profit margin and electricity is the second-largest cost for grocery chains.
Offshore wind has been a harder sell. Installing turbines that can withstand harsh maritime environments is more costly than planting them in the middle of a field, said Chris Long, manager of offshore wind and siting policy for AWEA, a Washington-based trade group whose members include General Electric Co. and the U.S. unit of Spain’s Iberdrola SA.
Backers of offshore development point out that the winds off Maryland's coast are strong, a nearby energy resource that the state should exploit. But if the most efficient way to meet the mandate is to build offshore wind farms, then offshore wind farms will prosper under existing policy. If it's not, then they should not be built.
Gov. Martin O'Malley's proposal to establish an offshore wind farm might be poised to breeze through the General Assembly this year, but it will be at least five years before any turbines are constructed off the coast of Ocean City.
One of the remaining two African American lawmakers who had opposed the governor's plan, Sen. Catherine E. Pugh (D-Baltimore) ,helped negotiate $10 million in aid to minority-owned businesses that made the proposal palatable to the NAACP, said Maryland state conference president Gerald Stansbury.
Governor Martin O'Malley appears to have cleared a hurdle in his quest to put a wind farm off the coast of Ocean City. It's a renewable energy project supporters say will reduce global warming. Political reporter Pat Warren has more on the plan.
The bill has yet to be introduced, but his administration announced that it would include a provision for residential customers to be charged no more than $1.50 a month on their electric bills to subsidize the costly process of building a 200 megawatt wind farm off the coast of Ocean City.
Under the governor's bill, the state would require Maryland's electricity suppliers to furnish up to 2.5 percent of their power from offshore turbines by 2017. And it offers a subsidy to encourage the construction of enough turbines off the coast to generate 1 percent of the state's energy needs, by guaranteeing developers a fixed price for the power they produce.
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Tuesday he will consider changes to the Senate Finance Committee, if that is necessary to advance an offshore wind measure to the full Senate for debate in the upcoming legislative session.