Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 – Creating a Market

On April 9, 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. With his signature, Maryland became the first state in the nation to create a market for offshore wind and provide the certainty that both a developer and the financial community require to construct an offshore wind project.

Setting Maryland apart from other states is the funding of the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC), a mechanism to incentivize the development of up to 500 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity.  The bill’s OREC is expected to support the construction of a roughly 200 megawatt offshore energy project ten miles off of Maryland’s coast. The bill also requires electricity suppliers to purchase ORECs and carves out up to 2.5% of the state’s energy supply for offshore wind energy, creating a demand for the new clean energy sector.

The Maryland offshore wind legislation sets a vision for the future and is a critical catalyst in bringing new manufacturing to Maryland. The Governor and General Assembly approved a bill that requires that the offshore wind project will only get MD Public Service Commission approval if it meets positive state economic benefits with a particular emphasis on in-state manufacturing.  As the first state with a market and demand for offshore wind, Maryland can create a supply chain cluster that could serve future offshore wind projects along the East Coast.

The bill provides $10 million in funding to Maryland’s small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, to ensure that they are ready to participate in the offshore wind supply chain. Additionally, this legislation applies the principles of Maryland’s minority business enterprise to all offshore wind projects. The passage of the bill creates additional market opportunities to deploy and utilize the IP from the State’s defense contractors as well as enhance and invigorate Maryland’s existing:

•    marine industry

•    manufacturing industry

•    electrical and mechanical engineering industries

•    construction industry

•    composite materials industry

This strong policy commitment, plus our state’s unmatched maritime and defense expertise, along with its port infrastructure, would make Maryland a destination of choice for new supply chain facilities.

For bill details, see: House Bill 226 – Chapter 3, enrolled by the Governor.

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