Maryland PSC awards renewable energy credits to offshore wind developers

Ellen Mills
May 13, 2017

MARTHA'S VINEYARD -Avangrid Renewables and Vineyard Wind have announced that they have formed a strategic partnership to jointly develop a large scale wind energy project off the coast of MA.

America's first offshore wind project came online late a year ago in waters off Block Island, Rhode Island. As of May 1, Block Island is the first location in the be powered by an offshore wind farm - a wind farm that has eliminated the need for a diesel plant that was burning about one million gallons of dirty diesel fuel annually. We believe it represents a step forward in proving offshore wind as a means of renewable power generation, but also in delivering a new industry to the state of Maryland that has potential to create meaningful manufacturing and logistics jobs.

"Ventower Industries is excited about the opportunity to work with US Wind and our local partners to build and expand the supply chain for the growing offshore wind industry here in the United States", said Gregory Adanin, president and CEO.

The partnership of the two companies is expected to bring extensive wind expertise and substantial financial firepower to the Commonwealth's initiative to build offshore wind projects in MA.

"We have taken great care to ensure that this decision maximizes economic and environmental benefits to the state while minimizing costs to Maryland ratepayers", said commission chair W. Kevin Hughes. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat.

The Skipjack Wind farm project will total 120 MW and come online in 2022.

They said that because of the longer planning and permitting times now needed for offshore wind no additional projects are projected to be able to qualify for tax credits before they expire in 2019. They will create 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs, on top of adding $74 million to Maryland's tax revenue over the next two decades. The company will begin the installation process for the tower immediately and next focus on its application for a Construction and Operations Plan to be submitted later this year to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. The companies will be required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities.

Conditions to the OREC approval include a requirement that these companies invest at least $76 million in Maryland steel-making and a further $39.6 million in upgraded infrastructure at the Tradepoint Atlantic shipyard.

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