Maryland Enters Offshore Wind MOU with US Federal Government

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), part of the US Department of the Interior (DOI), and the State of Maryland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support the coordinated development of offshore wind in this US state.

The MOU follows the announcement from December 2023, when the federal government and the Maryland state government said they would work together to identify additional wind energy areas offshore Maryland.

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This was announced shortly after the release of the proposed sale notice for two wind energy areas in the Central Atlantic, one off Delaware and Maryland, and one offshore Virginia.

The MOU between BOEM and the State of Maryland now also came a day after BOEM released the final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Central Atlantic areas.

Under the MOU, BOEM and the state government will continue the joint work on exploring and identifying potential areas for offshore wind leasing.

“BOEM will also continue to convene the Central Atlantic Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force with the state and other stakeholders to enhance collaboration and address challenges associated with the siting of offshore wind leasing areas. These efforts will support and augment existing and planned coordination for developing offshore wind energy in the Central Atlantic,” the federal agency said in a press release on 7 June.

BOEM plans to hold the (first) lease sale in the Central Atlantic later this year. A Final Sale Notice (FSN) will be published at least 30 days before the sale, detailing the time and date of the lease sale and qualified participants. 

Maryland currently has around 2 GW of offshore wind projects awarded offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) and a 2031 offshore wind target of 8.5 GW.

In 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) awarded offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) to US Wind’s and Ørsted’s 248 MW MarWin and 120 MW Skipjack 1 projects. In 2021, the two developers won ORECs for their 808.5 MW Momentum Wind (US Wind) and 846 MW Skipjack Wind 2 (Ørsted) offshore wind farms.

In May this year, Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed a new offshore wind bill under which the State will create a schedule for offshore wind solicitations until 2031 and revise previous solicitations. The latter will allow the State to re-allocate the support awarded to Ørsted’s Skipjack project, from whose power purchase agreement the developer withdrew, to other eligible offshore wind projects.

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