Deepwater Wind Emerges as Second Maryland Bidder

Deepwater Wind, the developer of the first and only offshore wind farm in US waters, has announced plans to construct a 120MW offshore wind farm, the Skipjack wind farm, some 17 nautical miles northeast of Ocean City, Maryland.

The Block Island wind farm, Source: Orsted

Deepwater Wind has secured the rights to acquire the site’s federal lease, subject to regulatory approval.

The developer also filed an application with the Maryland Public Service Commission for approval of the wind farm in October 2016. If approved, local construction work could begin as early as 2020, with the project in operations in 2022.

The Skipjack wind farm will not only be the state’s largest renewable energy project, it would also be the right size for Maryland’s first offshore wind farm, Deepwater Wind said. The wind farm is expected to generate well over USD 100 million dollars in economic benefits for Maryland, according to Deepwater Wind.

At 120MW, the Skipjack wind farm could be built in a single construction season, and developed more cost-effectively, and with considerably less risk, than a larger project, according to the developer.

“We’re bringing down the cost of American offshore wind energy in a big way,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

“Ratepayers in Maryland will benefit from energy that is both clean and affordable. The Skipjack Wind Farm is the right clean energy solution for Maryland, and we’re ready to get to work.”

The Maryland Public Service Commission received a total of two bids for a USD 1.9 billion Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC).

US Wind was the first developer to bid for OREC back in February 2016. The company plans to build a 750MW offshore wind farm some 15 miles off Ocean City. The wind farm will comprise 187 turbines, installed in 20-30 meters water depth.

If approved, the project is anticipated to come online in early 2020, with an operational life expectancy of more than 25 years.

Deepwater Wind’s 30MW Block Island wind farm is on schedule to begin commercial operations this winter.

The company is also in the early stages of development of its South Fork Wind Farm, a 90MW offshore wind farm located in federal waters 30 miles east of Montauk, N.Y. that is scheduled to become operational in 2022.