Maryland regulators OK nation's largest offshore wind plan

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The 2015 omnibus bill extended the production tax credit and ITC for wind until 2019, but because of the longer planning and permitting times now needed for offshore wind, the legislators explain, the U.S. Department of Energy has found that no additional offshore wind projects are projected to be able to qualify for these tax credits before they expire.

Maryland-based US Wind, Inc. has received its final air emissions permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment to install a meteorological tower in the Maryland Wind Energy Area.

The PSC's decision is contingent on approval by the federal government of the developers' site assessment plans, as well as construction and operations plans.

The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded renewable energy credits for two projects off Maryland's Eastern Shore near Ocean City. The companies will be required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities.

"We have taken great care to ensure that this decision maximizes economic and environmental benefits to the state while minimizing costs to Maryland ratepayers", PSC Chairman Kevin Hughes said in a statement.

US Wind's proposal is to build 62 turbines between 12 and 15 nautical miles offshore to generate 248 megawatts.

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"Maryland has limited coastline", he said.

They said that because of the longer planning and permitting times now needed for offshore wind no additional projects are projected to be able to qualify for tax credits before they expire in 2019. "Offshore wind is coming to the Atlantic Coast, and we want to be part of this exciting new industry". Growing offshore wind to scale will help attract new manufacturing and investment to states like Maryland that have business-friendly policies.

We are very excited about today's development.

"Ventower Industries is excited about the opportunity to work with US Wind and our local partners to build and expand the supply chain for the growing offshore wind industry here in the United States", said Gregory Adanin, president and CEO.

The decision benefits US Wind Inc and Deepwater Wind's Skipjack Offshore Energy LLC, each of which will receive ORECs at a levelized price of Dollars 131.93 (EUR 121.4) per MWh for a term of 20 years. US Wind's application is the only one that utilizes the designated Maryland Offshore Wind Area and was determined to be administratively complete by the Public Service Commission and to have met all ratepayers' safeguard criteria.

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