Maryland Takes First Steps in Offshore Wind

The Maryland Energy Administration announced that it has taken the first steps to follow up on Governor O’Malley’s committment to developing offshore wind, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Last May, the Governor joined nine other governors of East Coat states in urging Congressional leaders to support development of

…the waters adjacent to the East Coats [which] hold potential for developing some of the most robust wind energy resources in the world — enough wind potential to meet total U.S. electricity demand as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has recently pointed out.

MEA administrator Woolf picked up on this theme in his announcement.

“We know Maryland has great wind resources off our shore,” said Malcolm Woolf, state energy administrator. “We’ve got to figure out how best to tap into them.”

Maryland follows in the wake of other East Coast states.

Delaware recently settled on Bluewater Wind, a subsidiary of a national energy firm, to build a 230-megawatt string of turbines 13 miles off Rehoboth Beach. New Jersey has tapped Bluewater and two other companies to develop wind projects off its coast.

Maryland will undertake research to better understand the offshore wind resources.

Woolf said the new study will give developers technical information on wind speeds and ocean depths, so they can decide where or whether to bid for building offshore turbines. The study {…} is expected to be completed early next year…

Offshore wind requires more time to develop than does onshore wind.  The sooner we get started, the better.

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