Baltimore — The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a proposal from US Wind to bring the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind power to Maryland by January 2020. Officials from US Wind say the decision enables their plans to make Maryland the East Coast hub of a vibrant new industry.
The PSC’s decision awarded 913,845 offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) to US Wind. This corresponds with the company’s request to support a 248 Megawatt project planned 12 to 17 miles off the coast of Ocean City, Md. Ultimately, US Wind plans to construct up to 187 turbines and produce power for more than 500,000 homes.
US Wind, Inc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toto Holdings. Toto Holding is an Italian large-scale and infrastructure entrepreneurial group, active worldwide and whose strength lies in the industrial synergy between its array of companies and its constant drive for innovation.
This decision cements Maryland as the first-mover and establishes Maryland as the epicenter of this exciting new industry for decades to come. The US Wind project will create over 5,000 total jobs across Maryland, including Baltimore and Ocean City, Maryland.
In its decision, the Maryland PSC recognized offshore wind’s tremendous economic development potential to the state:
“…the State is positioned to become a national leader in the burgeoning offshore wind industry by securing tangible commitments to develop a robust supply chain in Maryland utilizing small businesses and minority business enterprises, while also revitalizing and re-purposing existing port infrastructure to bring much-needed job opportunities to areas of the State especially impacted by previous economic downturns. Further, the “all-in” approach to offshore wind that we undertake today signals to our neighbors and the world that Maryland is ready to serve as a regional hub and a substantial base for additional offshore wind development up and down the East Coast, thus, yielding sustained job growth for many years to come.”
US Wind has been methodically working towards construction of its Maryland project since it first acquired the lease for the Maryland Wind Energy Area off the coast of Ocean City. The company undertook a marine survey of the ocean floor in 2016 and recently received the final permit for a meteorological station on the site. US Wind officials have also hosted several informational meetings with global supply chain companies such as steel and cable manufacturers.