Posted on April 12, 2023
The Maryland General Assembly has passed the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources (POWER) Act of 2023 (Senate Bill 0781 / House Bill 0793), that sets new and ambitious targets. The bill is on its way to Gov. Wes Moore’s desk, where he is expected to sign the legislation into law.
The legislation would quadruple Maryland’s offshore wind generation goals from about 2 GW to 8.5 GW by 2031, improve its transmission infrastructure, and provide a pathway to future procurement of offshore wind energy in the state. The 8.5 GW of offshore wind energy targeted in the POWER Act is enough to supply clean energy to more than 2 million homes in Maryland while jobs, as the bill aims to ensure that offshore wind projects provide equitable opportunities for local unions and minority, women, service-disabled, and veteran-owned businesses.
“The POWER Act is a real game changer for Maryland,” said Jeff Grybowski, US Wind CEO. “It sets a path for the people of Maryland to reap the benefits of huge amounts of clean energy in the coming years. It also tells the entire offshore wind industry globally that Maryland is back big time as a major player. Companies looking to invest in offshore wind have to seriously consider Maryland.”
Passage of the POWER Act follows closely on the heels of Moore’s announcement during the 2023 International Partnering Forum in Baltimore of ambitions to boost Maryland’s rapidly growing offshore wind energy industry.
To move Maryland toward achieving the goal of 100% clean energy by 2035, the governor announced that, as since enacted in the POWER Act, Maryland will aim to quadruple the amount of energy produced by offshore wind to 8.5 gigawatts of power. To support the effort, he said, the administration is working to establish new lease areas and strengthen the offshore wind supply chain.
In recent weeks, US Wind also announced a new partnership with Spain’s Haizea Wind Group to manage and operate Sparrows Point Steel, Maryland’s first permanent offshore wind factory in Baltimore County, Maryland. The facility will manufacture steel components for the U.S. offshore wind industry, including monopiles and towers, while creating hundreds of jobs for local unions and minority businesses.