Maryland approves two offshore wind projects

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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.

The MPSC says the decision will enable U.S. Wind, Inc. and Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC to construct 368 megawatts of capacity, together yielding over $1.8 billion of in-state spending, spurring the creation of nearly 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs and contributing $74 million in state tax revenues over 20 years.

The PSC awarded the credits at a levelized price of $131.93/MWh for 20 years, beginning when the plants start generating.

The Maryland Public Service Commission awarded renewable energy credits for two projects off Maryland's Eastern Shore near Ocean City. The agency says the projects are estimated to create almost 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs and contribute $74 million in state tax revenues over 20 years.

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The Gemini Offshore Wind Farm is expected to meet the energy needs of 1.5 million citizens of the Netherlands over the next 15 years. The project was created to serve as an example of the tremendous potential that offshore wind power holds for the United States. It will connect to the grid at an Ocean City substation. "Each developer also must take advantage of the best commercially available technology to lessen views of the wind turbines by beach-goers and residents, both during the day and at night", Commissioner Anthony O'Donnell said. Each company must notify the Commission by May 25, 2017 whether it accepts the conditions of approval contained in the order. It is also planning projects off the coasts of Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. US Wind's application is the only one that utilizes the designated Maryland Offshore Wind Area and was determined to be administratively complete by the Public Service Commission and to have met all ratepayers' safeguard criteria. They are expected to cost residential ratepayers less than $1.40 per month while increasing the electricity bills of commercial and industrial customers by less than 1.4 percent a year, according to the commission.

The project is expected to create a total of 75-100 maintenance and administrative jobs in Eemshaven, a seaport in the municipality of Groningen.

The projects are part of the state's plan to reduce carbon emissions 40% by 2030 and will allow electric suppliers to replace some renewable energy credits produced in other states.