The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) has announced a new initiative to explore the potential for developing wind energy resources off of Maryland's coast. To evaluate the potential of wind resources for commercial development, MEA's offshore wind initiative will include outreach to potential offshore wind developers, a technical evaluation of the wind resources off of Maryland's Atlantic coast and Outer Continental Shelf, and strong engagement with the local community.
As part of this effort, MEA is releasing a request for expression of information and interest to engage business and industry leaders with expertise in the installation and development of offshore wind energy. This request reaches out to U.S. and European developers to begin a constructive dialogue on strategies for facilitating a long-term offshore wind energy strategy for Maryland.
‘Offshore wind has the potential to supply more renewable energy than any other resource in the region,’ says MEA Director Malcolm Woolf. ‘If Maryland is able to successfully harness these resources in a cost-effective way, the state will be able to satisfy its renewable portfolio standard of 20 percent by 2022 and benefit from the growing renewable energy credit market.’
Simultaneously, the MEA is launching a study to evaluate opportunities for offshore wind energy on Maryland's Atlantic coast and Outer Continental Shelf. This study will assess the viability of offshore wind energy generation and build on important marine spatial planning work being currently developed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy.
MEA is also working with local leaders to reach out to the community to obtain early feedback on the potential for an offshore wind energy project off of Maryland's coast. Maryland seeks to develop an inclusive approach that considers multiple possible deployment strategies, such as an initial technical evaluation staging ground, as well as the potential for advanced large-capacity turbines and new methods of deep-water development.
The state plans to draw on a broad range of capabilities and skills to evaluate opportunities for manufacturing and supply chain development, transmission management and continued stakeholder outreach.