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Maryland’s New Wind Projects Will Power A Million Homes

In a victory for clean energy advocates, the Maryland Public Service Commission has approved two large offshore wind projects. The green light for US Wind and Skipjack projects places them among the largest offshore wind projects approved in the United States, along with other major initiatives in states including Virginia, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

They also are a milestone for Earthjustice, which uses the power of the law to accelerate the nation’s shift from dirty to clean energy.

The projects mean clean, sustainable power for Maryland.

  • The US Wind project will generate 808.5 megawatts of power with 55 turbines. The Skipjack project will produce 846 megawatts with 60 turbines.
  • The two projects, combined, will create enough energy to power roughly a million typical homes.
  • Unlike fossil fuels that require a lifecycle including extraction, processing, distribution and ultimately carbon-polluting burning to generate power, offshore wind turbines cleanly harness existing natural power.

The building and maintenance of the projects will also support the state’s economy.

  • The projects are slated to create a minimum of 10,324 direct jobs during their development, construction, and operating phases.
  • US Wind is required to develop a monopile construction facility at Sparrows Point, a once-booming steel manufacturing facility and factory town. (See our feature story on the advent of wind power bringing hope to Sparrows Point.)
  • Skipjack must build sub-sea cable and wind turbine tower manufacturing facilities in Maryland, upgrade Crystal Steel for the pre-fabrication of components, and establish a platform supply vessel operator in Maryland.
  • Overall, these projects will inject nearly $1 billion into the Maryland economy over their lifespan.

In addition to creating clean energy, the wind turbine projects will mitigate the environmental impact of their own construction.

  • Thanks in part to the legal efforts of Earthjustice, the Maryland Public Service Commission has ruled that the operations and maintenance facilities serving the new projects will be net zero-emission facilities.
  • The MPSC is also requiring the new wind projects to file plans addressing how they intend to limit the emissions at each facility and updates reporting how successful each company has been in its efforts.
  • The approval also requires the same environmental mitigation measures (ship speed, pile driving limitations and more) as required by the Commission in its first approval of offshore wind projects.
  • The new projects will help the state of Maryland fulfil the requirements of its 2019 Clean Energy Jobs Act, which calls for an additional 1,200 MW of offshore wind development by no later than 2030.

Tell Congress to invest in more clean energy projects like this one by passing the Build Back Better Act.

Wind turbines at sunset Jui-Chi Chan/iStock

Wind turbines at sunset.

Jui-Chi Chan/iStock