US Wind has called on the Maryland state government in the US to back up to 1200MW of additional offshore wind capacity off the state’s coast.
The call was made by US Wind country manager Salvo Vitale in testimony before the Senate finance committee and House economic matters committee of the Maryland General Assembly in support of bills to boost capacity and jobs in the clean power industry.
Vitale said: “This transformational legislation would serve to reassert Maryland’s leadership position in the fast-developing offshore wind energy sector underway in the US, creating an additional 5000-7000 direct jobs; an additional $18m to be deposited in the Offshore Wind Business Development Fund; approximately $5bn in new capital expenditures; and thousands of tons more of carbon emissions reduced or avoided altogether.
“With only 358MW currently available for development here in our state and no further incentive to develop more, Maryland risks ceding its leadership position as other states along the eastern seaboard move aggressively to increase the proportion that offshore wind energy accounts for in their own state renewable energy goals.”
He added that several supply chain companies are seeking to locate to the US east coast in order to meet the needs of the growing offshore wind sector.
“Without question, the primary driver for these supply companies is the offshore wind development capacity, and it all comes down to the question of how many mega- or gigawatts can they rely on. Right now, the answer is clear, and Maryland is falling behind,” Vitale said.
“The time has come for Maryland to again act boldly. We can still capture large sectors of the offshore wind industry,” he said.
“Our world-class assets, expansive port infrastructure, skilled workforce – and the potential to develop an even larger skilled workforce, in addition to top research and development universities. Hopefully, Maryland will once again take the lead.”
US Wind holds the lease for the up to 270MW MarWin project off the coast of Maryland, he added.