More jobs may be coming to Maryland following Monday’s announcement from the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement that developers are being sought out to construct offshore wind turbines in Ocean City. The O’Malley Administration, which has conducted two years of research on the economic and environmental impacts of renewable wind energy, has been working with federal officials on leasing opportunities. The Gazette reports:
The proposed 175,000-acre-plus site starts about 10 nautical miles off Ocean City, with its eastern edge about 27 nautical miles from the resort community. It extends from south of the Delaware state line and veers slightly eastward off the coast of Maryland’s part of Assateague Island.
Such a wind farm could support about 800 jobs in Maryland, once it begins operating, according to the O’Malley administration. Building it could generate 4,000 manufacturing and construction jobs and could draw manufacturing related to the turbines to the area, administration officials have said.
A lease for a wind farm off the coast off Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound was signed last month. Preliminary plans for that project, which were launched under a different process, began in 2001. Called Cape Wind, the Massachusetts project’s generating capacity is pegged at less than half of what is proposed off Maryland’s Worcester County shore.
Maryland is the second state to move this far toward placing a wind farm off its shore under the Bureau’s new process. Delaware was first and a task force including state officials is evaluating responses to its RFI.