As the developer of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind energy project, US Wind, Inc. applauds the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019 by the Maryland General Assembly this week.
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 MW of additional offshore wind energy off the coast of Maryland.
“With the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019, Maryland is reclaiming its leadership position in the fast-developing offshore wind energy sector underway in the United States,” said Vitale. “The benefits are many and will prove transformational to Maryland’s economy: 5,000 to 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. This is what visionary leadership looks like.”
Similar measures have also been enacted in New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey (along with other states) to incentivize nearly 20 GW 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 MW 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 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.
Vitale also paid tribute to Speaker Michael Busch who led the House of Delegates for 16 years and passed away last weekend. “He was a champion of renewable energy in the State of Maryland and we remain indebted to his tireless efforts to position Maryland in this burgeoning American industry,” said Vitale. “We are grateful to all of the members of the Maryland General Assembly who have reasserted Maryland’s leadership by supporting this historic legislation and urge Governor Hogan to sign it into law without hesitation.”