Davis & Feldman: With wind projects, Maryland tackles escalating climate crisis
August 5, 2021
A view of the Rampion offshore wind farm in the UK. After years of planning and debate, several offshore wind projects could emerge along the Atlantic coast in the coming years. Photo from Unsplash.com.
In a summer filled with worrying news about the drastic impact of climate change – from wildfires and extreme heat to devastating flooding – there is good news to share.
Maryland is taking a big step forward in the development of our offshore wind industry, which has the potential to make our state a leader in the fight against climate change while delivering immense economic benefits to our communities.
US Wind, a Maryland-based company, announced this week that it is ready to invest in new offshore wind generation. The company’s ambitious plan, if approved by state and federal authorities, will lead to the installation of 82 wind turbines well off the coast of Maryland that can generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity, all emission-free.
That’s enough energy to power up to 500,000 homes per year.
Along with the project recently announced by US Wind, Danish company Ørsted is also seeking approval to build a major wind farm off the coast of Maryland – a clear sign of the economic viability of offshore wind. The Ørsted project has the potential to power more than 250,000 homes and could achieve up to two-thirds of the state’s offshore wind targets.
We look forward to taking action on climate change, and the installation of offshore wind turbines will be a major step towards a zero-emission energy future for the state.
The US wind project would also give Maryland’s economy a huge boost.
The company is committed to building a new steel fabrication plant, Sparrows Point Steel, in Baltimore County at the Tradepoint Atlantic site. US Wind will build the turbines for this project and others across the country, bringing steelmaking back to what was once a powerful manufacturing hub.
US Wind has partnered with the United Steelworkers of America to support the operations of Sparrows Point Steel. The company also has agreements with the Baltimore-DC Building and Construction Trades Council and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers to create thousands of union jobs to support families throughout the supply chain, from the manufacture of turbines to the installation of the foundations and the modernization of the transmission of electricity. Infrastructure.
In total, the project is expected to generate $ 300 million in construction labor income and create 100 permanent jobs for the operation of the wind turbines.
We are particularly encouraged by this news as these projects are made possible by a landmark legislation that we defended in 2019 – the Clean Energy Jobs Act.
The law sets an ambitious target for Maryland to produce 50% of our energy from renewable sources by 2030. It also increases the amount of electricity that can be produced by offshore wind in Maryland, allowing 1,200 megawatts additional, and opens the door to pioneers. offshore wind projects like these.
Today the East Coast has only two offshore wind farms, but that will change quickly.
President Biden has proposed new incentives for offshore wind, and the Federal Home Office estimates there could be 2,000 wind turbines along the east coast from North Carolina to Massachusetts by the end of this decade.
With this week’s announcement, we are confident that Maryland will be a leader in the development and manufacture of offshore wind turbines. Harnessing ocean winds to provide electricity will help us deal with the escalating climate change crisis while promising to create jobs to support families in the clean energy sector.
– OF THE. DERECK E. DAVIS and SEN. BRIAN J. FELDMAN
Davis represents District 25 in Prince George County and is the Chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee. Feldman represents District 15 in Montgomery County and is the Deputy Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
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