The massive offshore wind resource on the East Coast holds great potential for tackling Maryland’s energy challenges.
Governor O’Malley is leading a steady march towards realizing this opportunity. Last year, he joined other governors in a letter urging Congressional leaders to speed up offshore wind development, instead of promoting on-shore transmission only.
In November, O’Malley signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the governors of Virginia and Delware to promote offshore wind. The Maryland Energy Administration has taken aggressive steps to clear the way, including mapping the offshore resource. Maryland will purchase power from NRG Bluewater’s offshore wind project.
In November, Governor O’Malley joined with the governors of Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware to ask the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to order private transmission operator PJM Interconnection to consider transmission solutions that would facilitate the development of offshore wind resources. (See FERC Docket No. AD09-8-00).
It’s great news that the Governor’s legislative agenda includes additional steps to move wind forward. SB 282 “Off-Shore Wind Generation – Qualified Submerged Renewable Energy Line” will facilitate the construction of transmission connectors needed to bring offshore power to the onshore grid.
Meanwhile, Europe’s offshore wind industry powers ahead.