News Articles

4/10/17

Podcast: How Maryland’s Offshore Wind Industry is Developing

By Carley Milligan

Liz Burdock believes that offshore wind turbines are majestic. From the surface of the ocean, they stand as tall as the Washington Monument, and their massive blades are longer than a football field.

Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, said the turbines in Europe draw thousands of tourists to visitor sites there every year. It’s one way building offshore wind turbines in Maryland could contribute to the state’s economic development, and something Burdock hopes to see come online in the next several years.

Of course, it all depends on if the Maryland Public Service Commission approves one, or both, of the two offshore wind farm projects that are currently under review. And on this week’s episode of the BaltBizCast, she describes what both of those plans include.

Listen to the podcast.


3/30/17

Leader Elizabeth Burdock Fosters U.S. Offshore Wind Growth

By Michelle Froese

Elizabeth Burdock didn’t get her start in wind energy, but if her resume is any indication of her grit and determination, she is just what the industry needs. Burdock is currently the Executive Director for the Business Network for Offshore Wind  a not-for-profit organization she helped develop to support and build the offshore wind industry in the United States.

“Our goal is to inform, educate, and connect businesses, developers, and global experts in offshore wind. We want to develop a community for networking and collaboration,” she said. “And, really, my goal is to facilitate and build the entire U.S. offshore wind supply chain.”

Burdock has been facilitating clean energy initiatives and working in the field of sustainability for more than 18 years. However, her journey to the wind industry began elsewhere, in housing development — and politics. As Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton Administration, she acted as liaison to the President’s Council on Sustainability, and as Executive Director of the White House Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing.

Read more.


3/20/17

Offshore Wind with Liz Burdock, Executive Director,
Business Network for Offshore Wind

By Josh Cohen

Liz Burdock, Executive Director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, joins the podcast to discuss the current landscape (or seascape) for offshore wind power. We cover the latest activity including lease auctions and awards up and down the East and West Coasts; speculate on the impact the Trump Administration and new Dept. of Energy secretary Rick Perry may have on wind power; preview the annual IPF (International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum) next month in Annapolis; and conclude with Liz’s prediction about U.S. offshore wind capacity five years from now.

Listen to the podcast.


3/14/17

Wind Farm Projects Could Bring Jobs to Point

By Virginia Terhune

Tradepoint Atlantic and Sparrows Point Shipyard are among the companies that stand to benefit if pending applications for first-ever wind farms off the coast of Maryland and Delaware are approved within the month.

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC), which regulates utilities, has started hearings on two applications, and public hearings are set for March 25 in Berlin near Ocean City and March 30 in Annapolis.

Advocates claim that the start of the wind-farm industry in the mid-Atlantic would lead to thousands of jobs in construction and maintenance for the turbines that will generating electricity for Maryland users.

Sparrows Point Shipyard announced last June that it had partnered with Baltimore County to apply for a federal TIGER grant to help build manufacturing facilities for U.S. Wind Inc, one of the applicants before the PSC.

The grant wasn’t approved, but both the shipyard and neighbor Tradepoint are part of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, which supports the two applications.

Last November, Tradepoint hosted a meeting of representatives from turbine, electrical cable and steel manufacturing, vessel construction and local marine support services companies.

“There seems to be consensus among offshore wind industry leaders that TPA is an ideal location for light manufacturing and staging operations related to the fabrication, storage and shipment of wind turbines,” wrote Tradepoint spokesman Aaron Tomarchio in an email.

“We think this is an excellent opportunity to create clean energy jobs right here in the Baltimore area with Maryland acting as a potential hub for offshore wind operations.”

Read more. Note: Subscription required.


3/8/17

Offshore wind developers talk plans to bring first wind farm to Maryland’s coast

By Mallory Sofastaii

Offshore wind developers discussed plans to bring wind farming to Maryland Tuesday.

The Business Network for Offshore Wind (the Network) sponsored a breakfast to introduce Deepwater Wind and US Wind to industry leaders.

The developers submitted proposals to the Maryland Public Service Commission to build the first offshore wind farm off Maryland’s coast.

“Offshore wind power is inevitable. If we want to meet our clean energy goals, if we want to hedge our bets against fossil fuel volatility, if we also want to have the lights come on around the most congested areas where the load centers are (which are our coast) then we have to have offshore wind,” said Liz Burdock, the executive director at Business Network for Offshore Wind.

Read More.


OBAMA’S HIDDEN CLIMATE LEVERAGE

EPA air rule aficionados are already familiar with the likes of Clean Air Act Sections 111, 112, and even 113, for the enforcement addicts. But according to attorney Brian Potts, it’s Section 115 that could give the EPA carte blanche to regulate states carbon emissions. As Potts writes in an op-ed in POLITICO this morning, Section 115 gives the EPA extensive authority as long as two requirements are met: First, a report by an international agency that U.S. air pollution is a danger to the welfare of a foreign country, and second, an agreement with that foreign country to also reduce its emission. The wealth of U.N. climate reports along with the recent Paris agreements likely satisfy those conditions, he argues.


FACT SHEET: White House Summit on Offshore Wind

Convening State and Industry Leaders; Supporting Strategies for the Long-Term Development of a Clean and Abundant Energy Resource Along All U.S. Coasts, September 28, 2015

Two years ago, President Obama released his vision to cut carbon pollution and transition our country to a clean-energy economy. One of the key pillars of the plan was the commitment to double our renewable energy use by 2020. We are on track to achieving that goal. However, there is a need to do more. That is why this summer, in a joint statement with Brazil, the United States committed to increasing non-hydro renewable energy generation to 20% by 2030

To achieve this goal, the White House is committed to promoting the development of all forms of renewable energy, including offshore wind. Today, the White House is hosting the Summit on Offshore Wind, a gathering of leading federal, state and industry stakeholders committed to the long-term and sustainable development of offshore wind in the United States. By 2030, offshore wind is projected to supply 22,000 megawatts of clean and abundant energy to cities and communities in America enough to power 4.5 million homes.

In addition, the White House is announcing the following actions in support of the development of offshore wind:

  • Establishing a White House Interagency Working Group on Offshore Wind. Offshore wind will play an integral role in our future energy portfolio. It is therefore critical that the federal government work with states and other key stakeholders to ensure the responsible development of this technology. The Interagency Working Group will ensure effective coordination among federal agencies working on offshore wind. The White House Council on Environmental Quality and Domestic Policy Council will co-chair the Working Group with participation from the Department of Interior (including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service), the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation (including the Federal Aviation Administration), the Department of Commerce (including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the International Trade Administration), the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security (including the US Coast Guard), the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Read more.

US Navy Technology Converted For Offshore Wind Demonstrated in Baltimore, MD

The Business Network for Offshore Wind’s  is staging live, pier-side demonstrations of new technologies September 25th, 27th and 28th during its International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum, located at Pier V Hotel.  “We are pleased to announce a unique opportunity to view  U.S. state-of-the-art technologies available to the offshore wind industry,” said Liz Burdock, Executive Director of the Business Network For Offshore Wind.  One featured technology is Maritime Applied Physics Corporation’s (MAPC) GARC, an optionally manned platform certified for airdrops from US Navy C-130s and C-17s.  The GARC is capable of both in-harbor and over the horizon missions, able to run at least 121 nautical miles before refueling.  MAPC has partnered with IP Subsea to market an unmanned surface vehicle to the off-shore wind community for undersea cable monitoring.  “The GARC is a perfect example of how US companies can take existing technologies and convert them for export into the €180B global offshore wind market,” said Burdock. Read more.


OSW Picture

Is the Tide Turning for Offshore Wind in the United States?

By Van Hilderbrand, Jeffrey Karp and Jim Wrathall

Offshore wind has long been touted as the next big addition to the U.S. energy mix. With the start of construction of the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, many are hoping the project will trigger a gale force of offshore wind energy. Offshore wind resources are abundant, stronger, and blow more consistently than land-based wind resources.

The U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) estimates that 4 million megawatts (MW) of capacity could be accessed in state and federal waters along the coasts of the United States and the Great Lakes. Read more.


Energy Policy Shaping Up to Have Big Year in U.S. Policy

By Matt Mullin

 

This year has shaped up to be big for energy policy in the U.S. and it is expected to only continue this fall, with multiple pieces of legislation important to the U.S. energy sector at play, particularly for renewable energy interests like offshore wind.

Those of us political junkies that follow Congress closely for a profession saw it coming. The signs were there: energy leaders in the House of Representatives talking up their “Architecture for America,” Senate leadership increasingly raising the prospect of overhauling energy policy , and the Department of Energy releasing the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) in late April. But it all started to take shape and move this summer, setting up a busy 114th Congress (2015-2016) for U.S. energy policy.

The release of the QER in late April was arguably the first big milestone. The Department of Energy published their report as a result of a presidential memorandum released in January 2014. Overall, the QER examines energy infrastructure in the U.S. and how we will modernize it to promote economic competitiveness, energy and climate security and environmental responsibility over the next several years. The QER helped frame, in part, much of the legislation we saw introduced this session in Congress, including two major energy legislative packages in the House and Senate. Read more.


Network’s Eastern Shore Initiative Aims to Generate Workforce, New jobs and Contracts in Offshore Wind and Other Industries

By Linda Strowbridge

 

Limited by a persistent shortage of multi-skilled welders, shipyard operator Tony Severn finally purchased a welding simulator and began drafting plans to create his own training program onsite.

“It has been a longstanding problem with us trying to find qualified people,” said Severn, President of Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corporation. The 30-year-old Salisbury company is a leading designer and builder of commercial vessels up to 450 feet long.

“We bought a computerized virtual welding trainer … and we were in the process of putting together a program where we would bring in half a dozen people off the street at a time, provide them with a paid instructor, the virtual welder and other equipment,” Severn said. “Out of each group, if we ended up with two people we wanted to hire, it would be worth it.”

It was at that time that another training option began to emerge, due to preparations for a Maryland offshore wind energy project.  Members of the Eastern Shore Cluster for Offshore Wind had concluded that the region would need more certified welders in order to take advantage of business and employment opportunities arising from an offshore wind development, said Katarina Ennerfelt, president and CEO of two Eastern Shore companies, Toroid Corporation and Arcon Welding, and President Elect of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. Read more. 


IMET

Baltimore Entrepreneur Office Hours at IMET

The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (MTech) and the Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) are partnering with representatives from the greater Baltimore entrepreneurship community to offer free, open Baltimore Entrepreneur Office Hours (BEOH) on the third Tuesday of each month.  Interested entrepreneurs and innovators can walk in, or reserve a slot online at www.eoh.umd.edu/Baltimore.html.

Baltimore Entrepreneur Office Hours will help aspiring and current entrepreneurs with tech-based startups or ideas get advice on how to:

  • Build and finance a startup company;
  • Develop and protect intellectual property;
  • Navigate the technology transfer process;
  • Refine their business strategy for rapid growth; and
  • Tap into additional entrepreneurial resources

Representatives from the following organizations and groups and others will typically be on hand to speak with entrepreneurs and innovators in one-on-one sessions regarding questions they have about starting a company or commercializing a technology:

  • Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)
  • Institute for Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET)
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)
  • Maryland Intellectual Property Legal Resource Center
  • BioHealth Innovation, Inc. (BHI)
  • Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED)
  • BioMaryland Center
  • TEDCO
  • Early Charm Ventures
  • Saul Ewing LLP
  • Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, LLP

More Information


Capital

2015 Shaping Up to Be Major Year for Energy Policy

by Matt Mullin

Matt Mullin is the President of High Street Strategies LLC, a government relations and public affairs firm.

This year has shaped up to be big for energy policy in the U.S. and it is expected to only continue this fall, with multiple pieces of legislation important to the U.S. energy sector at play, particularly for renewable energy interests like offshore wind.

Those of us political junkies that follow Congress closely for a profession saw it coming. The signs were there: energy leaders in the House of Representatives talking up their “Architecture for America,” Senate leadership increasingly raising the prospect of overhauling energy policy , and the Department of Energy releasing the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) in late April. But it all started to take shape and move this summer, setting up a busy 114th Congress (2015-2016) for U.S. energy policy. Read more.


Turning Tide

Is the Tide Turning for Offshore Wind in the United States?

By Van Hilderbrand, Jeffrey Karp and Jim Wrathall

Offshore wind has long been touted as the next big addition to the U.S. energy mix. With the start of construction of the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island, many are hoping the project will trigger a gale force of offshore wind energy. Offshore wind resources are abundant, stronger, and blow more consistently than land-based wind resources.

The U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) estimates that 4 million megawatts (MW) of capacity could be accessed in state and federal waters along the coasts of the United States and the Great Lakes.  Read more.


Seatower2

Seatower DNV Certified Foundations

February 2015, Seatower installed a foundation in the British Channel at the Fécamp offshore site. The process of signing the contract with DONG, EDF EN and wpd offshore to installation only took nine months. Seatower’s exclusive use of local ships and tugboats made a tremendous difference in the cost and timetable of the project, which could have a huge impact on the U.S. offshore wind industry, as it injects money into the local economy and cuts down on installation time by using no special purpose vessels, purely tugboats.

Traditional steel foundations have historically required high costs, complicated installation procedures, and large factories to house them in.  Seatower foundations, built using crane-free gravity, are mass produced simply, flexibly and cost-effectively. Without the use of large cranes or large factories, requiring no long transport routes, they are produced locally where they will be installed. Seatower and the company’s unique installation method has been DNV certified since 2009, with over $8 million US invested and numerous patents acquired.

Seatower’s concept is fully certified and approved by leading certification agencies. The DNV approval in principle and the proven track record of gravity-based foundations has ensured that leading banks and lenders are backing construction projects with this design.   View the certificate.


White House

White House to Hold Summit on Offshore Wind

The White House has announced it will hold an invitation-only summit on offshore wind for state and federal policymakers Monday, September 28.

“Today, offshore wind is recognized as a vital part of the future U.S. energy mix: the successful launch of a U.S. offshore wind industry is so important that the White House is becoming involved,” said Ross Tyler, of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, who will be speaking at the White House event.

A briefing from attendees will be given at the Network’s International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum later the same day.


Moving parts: John S. Conner Realizes Business From Offshore Wind Logistics

by Linda Strowbridge

Tying up at a berth in Baltimore harbor in June, the M.V. Ocean Discovery became a modest display of emerging business opportunities in Maryland’s offshore wind sector.

The British-flagged, 285-foot, geotechnical survey vessel was en route from Europe to waters off Ocean City to begin researching locations along the ocean floor that could best support wind turbines; but first, it needed to stop in Baltimore.

“The ship had to go through a process called mobilization,” said John Stricker, vessel agency manager at Glen Burnie-based John S. Connor, Inc. Read more


Planning for Md. offshore wind project gets underway.

By Timothy B. Wheeler|The Baltimore Sun, July 3, 2015 

The energy of offshore wind is beginning to be felt in Maryland long before any of the giant turbines have been planted off the coast.

Survey vessels recently began examining the Atlantic Ocean bottom off Ocean City, as planning starts in Baltimore for what could be the largest offshore wind energy project to date in the United States — if it clears daunting financial and regulatory hurdles.

US Wind Inc., the Italian-backed company that won federal leases to develop a wind project off Maryland’s coast, has established offices in a downtown high-rise. Its executives are working simultaneously on designing the turbines to be built, lining up financing, and networking with the businesses and government agencies the company will need to make its plan a reality. Read more.


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