Port of Baltimore Will be Staging Area for Offshore Wind Projects

Washington Post article (2019-07-23) reported that the Dutch firm Ørsted has announced that the Port of Baltimore’s former Bethlehem Steel site will become home to a wind turbine construction and staging facility that will assemble turbines for the planned Skipjack Wind Farm off the coast of Ocean City and potentially other offshore wind projects along the East Coast of the United States.

The article noted that the Skipjack Wind Farm is set to have 15 turbines set roughly 20 miles northeast of Ocean City. A larger offshore wind project by Baltimore-based U.S. Wind is planned for an area south of the Skipjack site.

From the article:

But first, the firm behind the project needs a hub to construct the massive turbines, whose components can weigh as much as 4 million pounds apiece. Right now, only one offshore wind operation is up and running in the United States — off the coast of Rhode Island. Projects planned for elsewhere up and down the Eastern Seaboard will also need someplace to put together the turbines, officials said, and could eventually use the Baltimore facility as well. …
Skipjack’s parent company, the Dutch firm Orsted, is investing $13.2 million in building the state’s first “offshore wind energy center” and other infrastructure at the port to accommodate wind turbine assembly. …
Skipjack representatives said in a statement that the company expects construction of the wind farm to begin in 2021. The farm should generate enough electricity to power 35,000 homes a year starting in 2022.
The article also discussed the slower-than-expected approval process for the projects, incentives and economic development requirements placed on Ørsted and U.S. Wind, and resistance to siting offshore wind projects within view of Ocean City.
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Learn more about Maryland’s move to clean energy and some of the challenges the move entails at the 2019 MACo Summer Conference. The panel “Keeping Clean Energy Green Energy” will also discuss how the state is moving to ramp up its solar, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric production and the role county zoning and land use will play in that effort.  The panel will take place on August 15, 2019, from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm.
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