Two public opinion polls have shown continued support for offshore wind development in the State of Maryland, US, believed to create thousands of jobs and millions of capital investment.
69% of the residents of suburban Baltimore County and 72% of the residents of the Lower Eastern Shore said they support the offshore wind project 17 miles from the Ocean City coastline in a survey conducted by OpinionWorks in December.
Furthermore, 40% of Baltimore County survey participants expressed strong support for the project and 38% of Lower Eastern Shore respondents indicated they are “strongly in favor.”
In a separate poll of over 800 Maryland residents, conducted by Gonzales Research & Media Services, 64% of the respondents said that the planned project would not affect their decision to rent or buy a property in Ocean City, while 16% said that having a view of the offshore wind farm would make them more likely to rent or buy a property.
In OpinionWorks’ survey, 74% of the respondents support the expansion of the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030, while the current law requires that 25% of the state’s energy be produced by renewables by 2020.
US Wind Inc. has begun the process of developing a 268MW offshore wind project at the site, with completion expected in 2022. An independent third-party management consulting firm hired by the Maryland Public Service Commission estimates that the project will result in nearly USD 850 million of in-state economic impact, and the creation of over 4,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
“These independent surveys make clear that the wind farms planned off Ocean City will not detour vacationers, nor do they represent a credible threat to real estate prices or property values in Ocean City,” Greg Tucker, Head of Communications at US Wind, said.
“The US Wind project has been mandated by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to create nearly 5,000 direct and indirect jobs across the state, including Ocean City and the Lower Eastern Shore.”