US Wind, Inc., the Baltimore-based subsidiary of the Italian Toto Holding Group, has finalized an agreement with EDF Renewables North America, a subsidiary of French Multinational Group EDF, that has resulted in the sale of its lease to develop up to 2,500 megawatts of energy roughly seven miles off the coast of Atlantic City on the Outer Continental Shelf.
EDF Renewables currently holds the lease for the North Lease Area of the New Jersey Wind Energy Area (WEA), which is comprised of 183,353 acres. US Wind’s New Jersey lease, secured in 2015, encompasses approximately 750 square kilometers within the New Jersey Wind Energy Area. EDF Renewables will pay US Wind a total of $215 million, plus a deferred variable payment.
“US Wind is a recognized leader in the fast-developing offshore wind energy sector in the United States and we remain fully committed to realizing the many significant benefits of our Maryland offshore wind energy project – eventually the largest commercial offshore wind project in the country,” said US Wind President Riccardo Toto. “The sale of our New Jersey lease is consistent with our strategy to develop and optimize our assets while focusing on those projects that enhance our leadership position.”
The US Wind Maryland project, expected to be operational in 2022, will involve the installation of 32 wind turbines – 17 miles off the coast of Ocean City – that will eventually produce 268 MW of offshore wind energy, an amount sufficient to provide 76,000 Maryland homes with clean, renewable energy.
It is anticipated that the US Wind project will result in the creation of approximately 7,000 direct and indirect jobs and represent an in-state investment of nearly $1.5 billion. Additionally, US Wind is the sole developer of interest for a significant offshore Wind Energy Area in South Carolina that will eventually result in the development of a wind farm with up to 6 gigawatts in nameplate capacity.
The process to bring offshore wind to Maryland formally began in 2010 when the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) began a four-year stakeholder engagement process to determine the final location of the Maryland WEA. The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act was signed into law in 2013, paving the way for the public bidding process that led to US Wind initiating this new offshore wind energy sector in the state.