Enviro review initiated for Maryland's first offshore wind project

Offshore wind. Source: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

June 7 (Renewables Now) - The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is initiating the environmental review process of US Wind LLC’s offshore wind project in Maryland, the first one to be developed in a federal lease area in state waters.

The company, which is majority-owned by Italian renewables developer Renexia SpA, is proposing to build up to 121 turbines and up to four offshore substations within a lease area around 10 nautical miles off the coast of Ocean City and nine nautical miles offshore Sussex County, Delaware. BOEM said on Monday that the project could create a complex of between 1.1 GW and 2 GW.

The government agency will publish a Notice of Intent (NOI) this week to prepare the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project’s Construction and Operations Plan (COP). The release of the NOI will open a 30-day period during which the BOEM will gather public input to determine the scope of its environmental review. Public comments will be accepted by July 8.

US Wind holds the rights for an 80,000-ha lease area off Maryland that enable it to develop about 1.5 GW of wind projects. The first phase of that area is called MarWin, which will host a 270-MW wind farm that is expected to be commissioned in 2024. Last year, the developer also won Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) for its 808.5-MW Momentum Wind. Both projects are included in the environmental review, as well as subsequent developments within the company’s control area.

US Wind’s project, if approved, could provide electricity to as many as 650,000 homes in Delaware, Maryland and Virginia per year.

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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