State Approved Offshore Wind Expansion

PSC approves ORECs for US Wind Inc. and Ørsted Offshore North America, enabling expansion of turbine manufacturing in the state. 

Last week, Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved additional Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) for US Wind Inc. and Ørsted Offshore North America. With the approval of the additional ORECs, both firms can now move forward with expanding their offshore projects and turbine manufacturing in the state.

According to the Washington Business Journal: 

“The effects of climate change are real and, with its more than 3,000 miles of tidal shoreline, Marylanders are especially vulnerable,” said Jason Stanek, chairman of the Maryland PSC, in a statement. “That’s why it is important for the Commission to take this action that will put our state on a path of deeper decarbonization and help Maryland achieve its aggressive clean energy goals — the residents of our state and region deserve no less.”

The PSC noted that they anticipate projects from both firms to be operational by 2026, pending unexpected issues in the approval process from the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). Both projects are required to create a total of over 10,000 jobs, most of which will be located on the eastern shore. Once completed, the state’s offshore wind capacity will total 2,022 MWs.

In their approval, the PSC denied a request from the Town of Ocean City requiring the turbines to be located at least 30 miles offshore. The commission cited that both projects will be in federal waters and thus subject to BOEM’s review. According to the Washington Business Journal, the PSC did require that the developers “use the best commercially reasonable efforts to minimize the daytime and nighttime viewshed impacts of the projects — regardless of the outcome of the federal review process.”

Read the full story here.