The Maryland Public Service Commission today awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) to two projects, bringing what will become the nation’s largest offshore wind farms to Maryland’s shores. The two projects will bring 368 megawatts of wind energy capacity, together yielding over $1.8 billion of in-state spending, spurring the creation of almost 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs and contributing $74 million in state tax revenues over 20 years, according to the PSC.
Mike Tidwell, Executive Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, stated:
“After years of visionary advocacy from citizens and businesses across Maryland, the state’s Public Service Commission today approved two major offshore wind farms off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. These wind farms will be truly pioneering facilities, leading Maryland and the nation toward a 21st century economy that combats climate change and creates jobs in droves at the same time.
The Chesapeake Climate Action Network commends the PSC for correctly assessing the economic, health, and environmental gains integral to these projects. Major thanks must also go to the Maryland General Assembly for passing landmark legislation in 2013, which created incentives and guidelines for offshore wind development. And major credit must go to former Governor Martin O’Malley (D) and his staff who, for years, lead this fight with a vision filled with climate urgency, a sense of social justice, and a devotion to sustainable and vibrant economic growth. This major move toward offshore wind power would not have happened without Governor O’Malley.
Now CCAN is optimistic that the PSC approval today will quickly lead to near-term construction of nearly 400 megawatts of offshore wind. This marks the real start toward an extensive offshore wind industry that will one day soon stretch from Cape Cod, MA to Cape Hatteras, NC and provide as much as a third of the East Coast’s electricity