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Gov. Moore’s latest offshore wind move brings in federal support

Gov. Wes Moore has set ambitious goals for the state to generate enough electricity from offshore wind to power roughly 3 million homes.

Posted on June 10, 2024

Maryland is officially teaming up with the federal government to advance the state’s and country’s offshore wind energy goals.

Gov. Wes Moore, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and other officials met Friday morning in Annapolis to sign a memorandum of understanding focused on offshore wind development.

“Offshore wind means we don’t have to choose between hoping for and working for a green economy and a growing one,” Moore said.

The memorandum strengthens the relationship between Maryland and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as both look to advance offshore wind projects, said BOEM director Elizabeth Klein, who signed the MOU along with Moore.

Maryland has an ambitious plan to combat climate change and reach net-zero emissions by 2045. That includes a plan to have enough electricity generated by offshore wind to power almost 3 million homes by 2031.

Haaland said “there’s no time to waste in making bold investments to combat climate change.” The department and the entire Biden administration is working toward a “thriving and sustainable, domestic offshore wind industry from coast to coast,” she said.

Among the takeaways, the memorandum says BOEM will convene a task force that will plan for offshore renewable energy through data sharing and developing data platforms and tools; that the state and BOEM will have monthly coordination meetings during “periods of active commercial offshore wind energy planning”; and that the state and BOEM will identify opportunities for federal and non-federal support to develop offshore leasing areas.

The signing comes just days after Moore signed an executive order that pushes cleaner home and water heating options in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The order also creates a climate change subcabinet that will have to produce annual reports on the state’s climate progress, and includes plans for a regional cap-and-trade program to limit emissions from power plants.

Though the state has ambitious goals, Maryland has struggled to get its offshore wind projects off the ground, especially in the wake of a Danish energy company pausing “all development spend” on a project that had been in development since 2017.

U.S. Wind, another company working on offshore wind development, said in May it was confident it “will build Maryland’s first offshore wind farm, first offshore wind manufacturing facility at Sparrows Point, and deliver this clean energy to the people of Delmarva for years to come.”

The company’s CEO, Jeffrey Grybowski, said in an interview in late 2023 that he thinks construction for the offshore project, called MarWin, will begin in 2025.


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