Last Wednesday, Baltimore-based US Wind Inc. partnered with Tradepoint Atlantic (TPA) – the firm overseeing the 3,100-acre redevelopment of the former Sparrows Point steel mill – to host major offshore wind supply-chain manufacturers at TPA’s Port of Baltimore facility.
Business leaders at the meeting included representatives from turbine, electrical cable and steel manufacturing, vessel construction, and local marine support services companies. Attendees discussed the facilities at TPA’s site and how US Wind’s offshore wind renewable energy credit (OREC) application needs state approval to spark investments.
According to US Wind, which plans to build a 750 MW site, TPA is uniquely positioned to become a major hub of offshore wind on the East Coast.
“US Wind chose to invest in Maryland because it has everything we need to become the central hub of offshore wind on the East Coast – optimal location, deep water, available land and access to a world-class workforce,” said Paul Rich, Director of Project Development. “We want to be in Maryland, and we want to drive economic activity in Maryland.”
At Wednesday’s meeting, US Wind leaders briefed various Maryland state and Baltimore County agency officials about the significant interest expressed by the industry in the TPA facility, the timeline of development, and the importance of US Wind’s receiving its OREC approval (which the Public Service Commission [PSC] will begin reviewing at the end of this month).
US Wind says Tradepoint Atlantic’s facility has a 1,200-foot-long deepwater pier, a 2,200-foot deepwater marine berth and 3,100 acres of available land dedicated for manufacturing development. The TPA port is managed by T. Parker Host terminals and its subsidiary, Bay Marine Services.
“Tradepoint Atlantic sees great potential in the offshore wind industry and the opportunity to work with US Wind,” said Joe Greco, TPA’s vice president of commercial/trade development. “The manufacturing aspects of this opportunity are incredibly attractive, and our property is proven to support them. Add the logistical benefits we provide in areas of rail, highway access, marine, and it becomes very compelling how Baltimore and Tradepoint Atlantic can support coast-wide wind projects and bring manufacturing jobs back to Sparrows Point.”
US Wind says it is poised to begin the OREC proceeding with the Maryland PSC at the end of this month. The PSC is anticipated to make its decision by the end of May 2017.
US Wind officials say that without approval from the PSC, other competing ports on the East Coast will seize the chance to capture a multibillion-dollar manufacturing industry. Competing ports include Paulsboro, N.J., and New Bedford, Mass.