Maryland’s Offshore Wind Farm Moves Forward

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Maryland's offshore wind farms are planned to be 12 miles off Ocean City's shores. Unlike some oceanic wind farms, Maryland's won't be visible from beaches. Credit: NREL
Maryland’s offshore wind farm is planned to sit 12 miles off Ocean City’s shores. Maryland’s wind farm won’t be visible from the coastline. Credit: NREL

Finally some good environmental news. Maryland’s offshore wind farm is one step closer to reality.  The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) will spend the next six months analyzing two bids to build clean energy off our windy shores. If all goes smoothly, wind turbines could be spinning and cranking out electricity by 2020.

If you view the election with an environmental lens, Trump is bar none the worst eco-candidate.  He loves oil, gas, and coal, and hates the Environmental Protection Agency, the Paris Climate Treaty, and even renewable incentives. Presumably Trump has not read that the North Pole is 36 ℉ hotter than usual. That’s crazy hot.

During Trump’s tenure, state climate actions will be paramount. Maryland’s 2013 Offshore Energy Wind Act created the framework for wind farm regulations and incentives to tap our state’s unbelievably strong offshore winds. Both U.S. Wind and Deepwater Wind bid to build turbines over an 80,000 acre area off Ocean City. Once the project is approved by the PSC, construction could begin as soon as 2019 and wind turbines could be spinning off of the Atlantic coast in 2020.

Renenwable is Doable. Solutions Proejct mapped out a 50 state strategy which don'r rely on oil, coal and gas. thesolutionsproject.org
Renewable is doable. Solutions Project mapped out a 50-state strategy based on wind, solar, and geothermal. thesolutionsproject.org

Stanford University’s Solutions Project mapped out a state-by-state transition to renewable energy. Maryland’s move to clean energy hinges on a 60 percent supply of offshore wind energy. Our state’s energy asset is consistent offshore wind with key benefits when compared to fossil fuel-based energy: emission-free, remote energy generation, a free energy source, fewer health complications (coal-fired pollution prematurely kills 200,000 Americans each year) and a business sector creating jobs and state revenues.

Coal Plant to Shutter

Adding to the climate good news, Middle River’s Crane Plant filed a deactivation notice with the intent to stop burning coal by June 2018. Baltimore’s highly polluting coal-fired power plant began generating electricity in 1951. This power plant has been a major source of Baltimore’s smog (ground-level ozone) pollution leading to crappy air quality.

 

 

Laurel Peltier
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Laurel Peltier

Laurel writes the environmental GreenLaurel column every other Thursday in the Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of UVA's MBA program, she spends her time with her family and making "all things green" interesting.
Laurel Peltier
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