Maryland Nods to 1.2 GW Offshore Wind Boost

The Maryland General Assembly has passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) which will incentivize the development of 1.2 GW of additional offshore wind capacity off this US East Coast state by 2030.

The assembly has subsequently sent the bill to the Governor’s desk for signature.

The bill aims to accelerate Maryland’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 50% by 2030, including quadrupling the state’s commitment to offshore wind.

New offshore wind capacity is required beginning with at least 400 MW in 2026, increasing to at least 800 MW in 2028 and 1,200 MW in 2030.

The existing offshore wind application and approval process is bifurcated into “Round 1” and “Round 2” projects, to allow for new applications.

Maryland’s Public Service Commission must provide Round 2 application periods beginning, respectively:

  • January 1, 2020, for consideration of Round 2 projects to begin creating offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) no later than 2026;
  • January 1, 2021, for consideration of Round 2 projects to begin creating ORECs no later than 2028; and
  • January 1, 2022, for consideration of Round 2 projects to begin creating ORECs no later than 2030.

In May 2017, Maryland approved two offshore wind projects through the process established in current law, US Wind’s 270 MW MarWin project and Deepwater Wind’s (now part of Ørsted) 120 MW Skipjack project.

Maryland-based offshore wind developer US Wind has welcomed the passage of CEJA.

“With the passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2019, Maryland is reclaiming its leadership position in the fast-developing offshore wind energy sector underway in the United States,” said US Wind Country Manager Salvo Vitale.

“The benefits are many and will prove transformational to Maryland’s economy: 5,000-7,000 direct jobs, an additional $18 million to be deposited in the Offshore Wind Business Development Fund, approximately $5 billion in new capital expenditures; and thousands of tons more of carbon emissions reduced or avoided altogether. We are grateful to all of the members of the Maryland General Assembly who have reasserted Maryland’s leadership by supporting this historic legislation and urge Governor Hogan to sign it into law without hesitation.”

Photo: Ørsted/Illustration