The Maryland General Assembly has passed a pair of bills that will help the state expand its offshore wind industry and promote the buildout of energy storage technologies.
The Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources (POWER) Act, sponsored by state Sens. Katie Fry Hester, Brian J. Feldman and Benjamin Brooks, is mainly focused on upgrading and expanding the grid so that it can accommodate high penetrations of offshore wind power.
Specifically, the legislation directs the Maryland Public Service Commission to work with grid operator PJM Interconnection to conduct an analysis of potential transmission system improvements and begin a process for soliciting project proposals to support those improvements.
The second bill, H.B.910/S.B.697, requires the Public Service Commission to establish targets for the deployment of new energy storage resources in the state via the Maryland Energy Storage Program, which will be the vehicle through which the state reaches a series of goals: 750 MW by 2027, 1.5 GW by 2030 and 3 GW by 2033.
“Passing these bills creates incredible opportunities for Maryland,” says the American Clean Power Association’s Moira Cyphers. “Offshore wind will be an important and reliable source of energy and will improve Maryland’s environment and air quality. In particular, the POWER Act victory should be a signal to federal regulators currently considering size and location for new offshore wind leases off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic that the Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas must be robust.
“As storage is critical to meeting our nation’s emissions and energy goals, Maryland’s passage of this energy storage bill signals important progress toward building clean energy capacity,” she adds.