McClellan: Dominion’s “step back” on offshore wind has left Virginians wondering
By Stephanie McClellan|Richmond Times Dispatch, Wednesday, May 13, 2015 10:30 pm
On Earth Day last month, Gov. Terry McAuliffe praised offshore wind energy for its job-creation potential for Virginia. The governor likely had not been told by Dominion Power that 24 hours later the utility would decide to “take a step back” from the much-touted offshore wind demonstration project based on a single bid for the project’s construction.
McAuliffe should feel validated, not discouraged, as the facts are on his side. Dominion’s decision should be seen as the regulated monopoly utility’s need for outside expertise from those with experience in competitive offshore wind markets, rather than an ominous bellwether of offshore wind’s future here.
A recent study jointly released by the University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind and the state of New York shows a clear path for states to affordably take advantage of the significant job-creation potential of offshore wind. To read more, click here.
Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States
In support of the President’s strategy to diversify our nation’s clean energy mix, an elite team of researchers, academics, scientists, engineers, and wind industry experts revisited the findings of the Energy Department’s 2008 20% Wind by 2030 report and built upon its findings to conceptualize a new vision for wind energy through 2050. To read more, click here.
Big Data can help cut wind farm O&M costs
By Tom Gray|AWEA Blog, Friday, May 15, 2015
While wind power costs have declined massively over the past several years, there’s still a need to wring even more economies out of the technology, and the growing use of big data in wind farm operations and maintenance (O&M) is going to be a major part of that effort.
That was the theme of “Future of O&M–The Technology Impact and Lessons Learned,” an education session held Tuesday at the WINDPOWER 2015 Conference & Exhibiton in Orlando, Fla. To read more, click here.
Request For Information:
May 20, 2015
U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technology Office (WWPTO) has issued a request for information (RFI) on facilitating the development of offshore wind energy in the United States. To read more, click here.
Another Step Forward – MD Businesses Plan Future Port Facilities for Offshore Wind Farm
by Laurel Starkey, Business Network for Offshore Wind Staff
September 3, 2014
On September 3, the Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind (otherwise referred to as The Network) and Semmes Bowen and Semmes hosted over 80 representatives of Maryland businesses, academic institutions and government agencies to discuss the initial results of a Mottat & Nichol study of possible offshore wind port sites in Maryland. Baltimore is poised to play an important role in the emerging industry because it is the only deepwater port on Maryland’s shoreline. The Network Board President Mark Rice commented that Maryland businesses have a shot of capturing half of US Wind’s estimated $1 billion investment in the initial 200 MW phase of its offshore wind development. But, said Rice, because offshore wind remains a nascent industry in the U.S., it will require a collaborative effort amongst the businesses to win the developer’s bids. “Companies are going to have to be aggressive both individually and collective to figure out where they fit into the supply chain and to make sure that they’re ready to give a qualified bid.”
Elizabeth Burdock, The Network Executive Director, said that five potential sites for offshore wind staging ports in and around Baltimore are being discussed and more may be considered as local businesses learn of the industry’s potential. Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard requires that the state get 20 percent of its electricity from renewables by 2022. To meet that goal, the state passed the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act in 2013, which incentivizes projects by issuing Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) to developers that require power suppliers to source a certain percentage of electricity generation from offshore wind.
For the developer to qualify for ORECs, Burdock said, it must prove the project will have a positive net benefit to Maryland in terms of jobs and state revenues. According to the state of Maryland, an initial 200 MW project would create almost 850 jobs during the five-year manufacturing and construction period and 150 permanent jobs for operations and maintenance. Rice said that if Baltimore becomes a major staging and manufacturing port for offshore wind in the long term, thousands more jobs could be created. Many Maryland businesses ardently hope that offshore wind will meet this potential, Burdock said. “This is a huge industry, and there is more than enough work to go around,” Burdock said. “There is enough business here for everybody to be very, very happy.”
Maryland Offshore Wind Industry Takes the Next Step
NPR | news.wypr.org
August 19th, 2014
The federal government holds an auction Tuesday for two leases to develop wind farms in federal waters off Ocean City. If built, the two wind farms will cover almost 80,000 acres, roughly half the size of Howard County. The western border of the parcels is about ten nautical miles off the coast.
Sixteen companies have qualified to bid, including SCS Maryland Energy LLC. Its Chief Operating Officer, Mike Miller, says that the high upfront cost of offshore wind has made it hard to find investors. “There’s so many potential points of failure,” he says. “Ultimately everyone’s financial reward comes over a 20 year period of steady production of electricity.”
To read more, click here.
Wind farms among beneficiaries of Md. planning grants
by Lizzy McLellan | thedailyrecord.com
December 30th, 2013
Wind farms require windmills, and windmills require welders.
This simple realization — it came up at a dinner in June when the state was discussing the Danish government’s experience with offshore wind power — struck motivation into three companies that are planning for wind farms off the coast of Maryland.
The result: a planning grant that will help Humanim, D&T Welding Contractor and Cianbro train a workforce of welders for the future.
The three recruited more partners: Earlbeck Gases and Technologies, the Maritime Applied Physics Corp., the Worcester County Economic Development Office, the Maryland Center for Construction Education and Innovation and Anne Arundel Community College. They applied for the grant together, as the Maryland Offshore Wind Strategic Industry Partnership. And they were one of 29 winners from biotech to cybersecurity that secured a total of more than $600,000 from the state for planning. The partnership’s share was $24,000.
Liz Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind, an organization with dozens of partners interested in offshore wind development, was in on the application process.
To read more, click here.
Notice of Sale Announced for Maryland’s Wind Energy Area
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Interior Department announced a proposed notice of sale Tuesday for nearly 80,000 acres for commercial offshore wind development off the coast of Maryland beginning about 10 miles from Ocean City.
An analysis by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that the area could support between 850 to 1450 megawatts of commercial wind generation, which would be enough electricity to power about 300,000 homes annually when fully developed. Work to start offshore wind energy is part of President Barack Obama’s push to increase renewable energy by working with state, local and federal partners.
For a copy of the notice published in the Federal Register, please click here.
BizMDOSW’s Study Tour “Export Now to Build for Tomorrow” Begins
Baltimore, Maryland (November 13, 2013) – Today, a prominent group of business and government leaders, led by The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind (The Network), announced their participation on a ten day study and business development tour to Denmark and Germany entitled, “Export Now to Build for Tomorrow.” The educational tour will assist Maryland businesses to export products and services for the growing European wind energy industry and gain critical institutional knowledge for the burgeoning North American offshore wind industry. The coinciding public-private sector delegation led by Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) Director Abigail Ross Hopper and Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Dominick Murray will meet with top Danish and German governmental officials and offshore wind businesses in order to assist Maryland businesses’ entry into the offshore wind global supply chain. After the tour’s completion, the State of Maryland will be working under a formal collaboration agreement with the Danish government to learn best practices for the construction and development of Maryland’s offshore wind industry.
Catch the full story on Citybizlist Baltimore.
Cruise mapping wind prospects off Maryland
by Tim Wheeler | Baltimore Sun
August 20, 2013
OCEAN CITY — The high-rise towers of Maryland’s Atlantic beach resort were blips on the horizon from 13 miles offshore. Except for a distant container ship coming out of Delaware Bay, the Scarlett Isabella was practically alone as it cruised slowly through the gently rolling sea. But most of the 15 scientists and technicians aboard the 138-foot vessel were focused on what’s beneath the waves, eyes glued to a bank of computer screens tracking signals from sophisticated electronic gear deployed overboard. The crew has been working almost nonstop since late June to map a 94-nautical-square-mile expanse of sea floor off Maryland’s coast, gathering data that could help place up to 40 huge wind turbines there to generate power. Weather permitting, they hope to be done next week. “It’s starting to get real, this offshore wind stuff. We’ve got boats, we’ve got data,” said Andrew Gohn, senior clean energy program manager for the Maryland Energy Administration.
For the full article click here.
New Network Mulls Offshore Wind
by Jennifer Shutt | DelmarvaNow.com
August 16, 2013
WEST OCEAN CITY — A newly formed business network met with Maryland Energy Administration officials Friday to explore how local businesses can benefit from a wind farm off the coast of Ocean City.
The meeting was one of the ways The Business Network for Maryland Offshore Wind hopes to find manufacturers and companies that want to help build the wind turbines or gadgets needed to maintain them. Over breakfast sandwiches at the Marlin Club in West Ocean City, officials from the Maryland Energy Administration and Danish nationals explained what businesses and the state will need to do before offshore wind turbines begin producing energy.
“We want to make sure Worcester County has the industry and the business to support the business you are bringing,” said Worcester County Commissioner Bud Church. Abigail Hopper, director of the Maryland Energy Administration and Gov. Martin O’Malley’s energy adviser, said Maryland hopes to use as many in-state businesses as possible for the project. “We have done what no other state has done, which is create an actual financeable model,” she said, mentioning various grants and resources available. The initiative to establish an offshore wind farm passed the Maryland General Assembly this year after several previous attempts.
The bill was hailed by O’Malley as a way for the state to increase the amount of renewable, clean energy available in the state. Because there are no offshore wind farms in American waters, training and educating businesses and workers is a key component of Maryland’s plan. While the best-case scenario introduces working turbines in 2018, developers are putting multi-million dollar bids together now. Later this year or early in 2014, the federal government is expected to award sections of the ocean floor to those developers. The decision will be made by the federal government and not Maryland because the wind farm will be in federal waters. Private companies will then work with local, state and federal governments to install the turbines, run transmission lines to the shore and maintain them. Ross Tyler, program manger for offshore wind economic development, said maintenance will be a full-time concern for the companies. The safety of those performing maintenance and repairs will also be a focus of state government. “The marine environment really is a hostile environment,” he said.
A boat is currently surveying the designated area’s ocean floor in order to understand how underwater construction may begin. As part of the state’s emphasis on including the Lower Shore in the creation of what may be the first offshore wind farm in the United States, nine University of Maryland Eastern Shore students were federally certified to observe marine species. That cooperation between local, state and federal governments and organizations is what the business network and the Maryland Energy Administration hope will continue through the eventual decommission of the wind turbines.
email@example.com | 410-845-4643
A better wind bill
April 2, 2012 | Baltimoresun.com
For all its risks and potential costs, Gov. Martin O’Malley’s unsuccessful 2011 bill to facilitate the construction of offshore wind turbines near Ocean City would have benefited the state — and its electricity customers — through predictable, clean energy for decades to come. The 2012 version of the legislation should be a no-brainer. The governor’s new proposal further shelters consumers from the risks of such a project and reduces the costs they may eventually pay. The House of Delegates, which voted Friday in favor of the plan, amended the bill to reduce the cost even more. It deserves the support of the full General Assembly.
Although offshore wind farms are relatively common in Europe, they have been slow to develop in the United States amid debate about their cost effectiveness and environmental benefits. They are certainly not the sole answer to Maryland’s future power needs, but if the state has any hope of achieving its aggressive goals for renewable energy — and particularly if it hopes to do so in a way that benefits Maryland’s economy — offshore wind needs to be part of the picture. Maryland is committed to getting 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, and that will almost certainly require harnessing the wind off the Atlantic Coast.
For the full article click here.
Maryland’s offshore wind farm could blow contracts ashore
March 30, 2012 | gazette.net
An offshore wind farm will mean opportunities for a range of small and minority-owned businesses in Maryland, executives learned Wednesday. “There are many different industries involved in this project, industries that are already here in Maryland,” Ross Tyler, director of the Business Coalition for Maryland Offshore Wind told businesspeople attending a forum in Annapolis. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) is calling for a 310-megawatt installation off the coast of Ocean City, at a cost of almost $1 billion. State estimates predict the project’s economic impact during the next five years could reach $2 billion, with $8.7 million in additional state tax revenues. O’Malley has introduced legislation that would add fees to electric users’ bills to help attract developers to build the wind farm. The House Economic Matters Committee approved the bill Monday, after reducing the average residential ratepayers’ additional monthly fee to $1.50 from $2 and exempting from the surcharge the first 750 million kilowatt hours of annual electricity use by an industrial concern. Other amendments under discussion include creating a $10 million Offshore Wind Business Development Fund to support a local supply chain for small and minority-owned businesses and a potential wind business incubator.
For the full article click here.
Explanation of Maryland Offshore Wind Bill
Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012
Background: Maryland’s homegrown offshore wind power provides unique benefits to the state that no other energy source offers. As the only state energy source abundant enough to meet our renewable energy goals, offshore wind offers unmatched job-creation and air pollution reduction benefits. What does the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012 do? The 2012 Maryland offshore wind bill sets up a process to create a “carve out” for offshore wind energy within the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) as long as specific criteria are met. Maryland already has a solar carve-out in the RPS, which created solar renewable energy credits or SRECs. While structured with some differences, an offshore carve-out would create offshore wind renewable energy credits or ORECs If certain conditions are met, Maryland’s electricity suppliers would be required to acquire a certain amount of ORECs from qualified offshore wind providers starting in 2017 and not to exceed 2.5% of state electricity sales (about 500 MW).
The state’s Public Service Commission will oversee a process by which offshore wind developers will compete to become qualified to provide ORECs. The winning bids will be determined by a set of legislated criteria including lowest price, long-term price stability, environmental and public health benefits, in-state jobs, and other factors. A carve out will only be created if proposals are found to provide positive net benefits to the state and to be priced below statutory safeguards for ratepayers. How is this year’s bill different from the one proposed in 2011? This year’s bill sets up a more market-friendly process to incentivize offshore wind development, includes stronger provisions to protect consumers and promote in-state jobs, and ensures positive net benefits to the state. Instead of setting up a process that could direct utilities to sign long term contracts for offshore wind energy, the 2012 bill sets up a process to establish a carve out in the RPS for offshore wind. If certain conditions are met, electricity suppliers will be required to acquire offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) from qualifying projects. To qualify, offshore wind projects must demonstrate positive net benefits to the state (including in-state jobs, health benefits, and electric rates), be located in federal waters off the coast of Maryland, and be priced below statutory safeguards for ratepayers. How are consumers protected in the 2012 bill? No project will be approved if it is projected to increase an average resident’s electric bill more than $2 per month or any nonresidential ratepayer’s electric bill more than 2.5%.
The rate impact of ORECs will be projected up front based on a 20 year projection of future energy prices. The actual impact will not vary much from the projection as offshore wind will represent a small portion of the state’s electricity sales (up to just 2.5%). If fossil fuel prices rise higher than expected, then ratepayers will come out ahead earlier. If fossil fuel prices are lower than expected, offshore wind will cost slightly more comparatively, but energy bills will still be lower than projected. About 60 percent of the energy generated in Maryland comes from fossil fuels and from 1999-2009, energy bills for Marylanders roughly doubled. Maryland also imports 30% of its electricity and sends 90% of its non-solar renewable dollars out of state. This bill will create a carve-out for Maryland’s most abundant home-grown and stable-priced energy resource. How does the 2012 bill promote Maryland jobs more heavily than last year’s bill? Maryland offshore wind power will bring new jobs to a number of industries, including steel manufacturing and various construction trades.
Maryland’s local workforce is further promoted in the 2012 bill as only offshore wind projects in federal waters off the coast of Maryland will qualify for ORECs.. A project also must show net benefits including in-state job creation in order to be approved and projects that make the largest commitment to in-state jobs and to partnering with Maryland businesses, including small and minority owned enterprises, will be favored. There are over 1000 businesses in Maryland, including over 200 minority business enterprises, that are in industries that could participate in offshore wind development.
For more information, please contact Tom Carlson, Marylanders for Offshore Wind: firstname.lastname@example.org | 240-396-2035
On Feb 23rd at the Member luncheon, Paolo Sammartino provided an update on the latest US Wind activities including:
– New Team Members- staff and contractors
– Time Line- Major Milestones
– Contracts Opportunities Coming up
– Business functions needed during the Site Assessment process
– Upcoming Visit to Ocean City, MD
In addition, US Wind’s Annapolis Lobbyist will provide a legislative update. Marina Hardy Taft, who served as Governor Hogan’s Finance Director during the campaign provided insight to his thinking. If you have not signed up, please go to