Biden Administration Announces Plans to Expand Maryland Offshore Wind

The Biden Administration 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.

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 according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.

“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 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.”

According to WBOC, 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.

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