Offshore Wind Moving Forward in the US
This week, Maryland moved closer to advancing their offshore wind plans. Governor Martin O'Malley's administration announced the federal government's acceptance of planning recommendations to advance this renewable technology. The western edge of the proposed project is an estimated 10 nautical miles from Ocean City's coast and 27 nautical miles from the eastern edge's coast.
As the nation awaits a final decision on the docket before the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities regarding the cost effectiveness of the power purchase agreements for Cape Wind with National Grid, Maryland and Delaware are moving forward with the federal government in the offshore wind process.
Meanwhile, it is clear that the industry at large continues to expand. Siemens announced this week plans to increase their offshore wind services by providing maintenance for grid connections HelWin1 and BorWin2 in the North Sea for five years, as an initial pilot. Having received orders totally roughly 4800 MW for connecting offshore wind farms, the company is positioning themselves to sharpen their maintenance expertise. While this increase in the immediate future will only accommodate non-domestic offshore wind, it is clear that Siemens is well poised to service future domestic offshore wind projects.
Forbes has also taken note of the trend, acknowledging the success that the US has had in leading the globe in land based wind, but failing to currently have any offshore wind in operation. Things are changing. The federal government is engaged and appetites have peaked. This technology has been demonstrated to add immediate value abroad. Ensuring that these projects are properly sited taking into consideration the strength of the resource and the ecological and marine impact is critical to doing this well.
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