Biden Administration Announces Plans to Expand Maryland Offshore Wind | Latest News

MARYLAND – The Biden administration, along with Maryland Governor Wes Moore and U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, has announced new steps to expand the use of offshore wind energy generation off Maryland’s shores.

“With this pivotal agreement, we’re moving forward on this path to grow our economy and tackle the climate crisis head-on,” said Senator Van Hollen Friday.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Maryland has entered into a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to coordinate further development of offshore wind to combat climate change and add jobs to the Maryland economy.

Moore joined Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein, and White House National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi on Friday, June 7th to sign the new MOU.

“Maryland will play an important role in helping achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious renewable energy goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Today’s announcement represents another important step towards a clean, reliable energy future with good-paying jobs and economic opportunities that are accessible to communities across America.”  

The MOU furthers ongoing efforts to identify potential leasing sites for offshore wind projects, according to the Department of the Interior. BOEM will also continue to collaborate with the state through the Central Atlantic Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force to tackle challenges associated with current offshore wind leasing areas. The Department of the Interior says this collaboration will “help support a robust supply chain, yield greater economic return for Maryland and the United States, and create good-paying domestic jobs.”

On Thursday, June 6th, BOEM released the assessment of possible impacts of leasing offshore wind areas off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, concluding there would be no significant impacts from lease issuance. Two new areas off the coast have been finalized with the last remaining step an official sale agreement, according to BOEM.

Offshore wind development remains a contentious topic on Delmarva, with some coastal towns including Fenwick Island and Ocean City publicly distancing themselves from any involvement. Others, such as Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, and Dewey Beach continuing negotiations with offshore wind company US Wind on proposed projects in Maryland that could possibly see power cables landing on Delaware beaches.

This is a developing story. WBOC’s Kyle Orens will have more on WBOC News at 6.


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