US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy have secured offshore renewable energy credits from the US state of Maryland for wind farms totalling 368MW.

The Maryland Public Service Commission said that the 120MW Skipjack and 248MW Maryland offshore wind farms will be awarded support at a levelised price of $131.93 per megawatt-hour for a period of 20 years.

An independent consultant appointed by the Commission, Levitan & Associates concluded that the wind farms have a net ratepayer bill impacts associated with Commissions’s approval are expected to be less than $1.4 per month for residential customers and less than 1.4% impact on the annual bills of commercial and industrial (C&I) customers.

The two wind farms will be built off the coast of Maryland and the total estimated cost is $1.8bn.

The wind farm, to be constructed by US Wind, will receive ORECs of 913,845 per year. It will feature 62 turbines which will be installed at 12-15 nautical miles offshore, as proposed. The wind farm is expected to start its operations by January 2020.

The second wind farm, which will be constructed Skipjack, could receive about 455,482 ORECs per year. It will consist of 15 wind turbines and will connect to the grid at Ocean City substation. It is expected to be operational by November 2022.

The two wind farms are also expected to generate about 9700 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, while contributing about $74m in state tax revenues for the next 20 years.

The two projects are expected to offset about 19,000 tons of carbon emissions every year for the next 20 years.

Maryland Public Service Commission chairman Kevin Hughes said: “The approval today of the nation’s first large – scale offshore wind projects brings to  fruition the General  Assembly’s efforts to establish Maryland as a regional hub for this  burgeoning industry.

“We have taken great care to ensure that this decision maximizes economic and environmental benefits to the state while minimizing costs to Maryland ratepayers.”

Maryland Public Service Commission Commissioner Michael Richard said: “I believe this decision creates tremendous opportunities for Maryland.

“It enables us to meet our clean, renewable energy goals using energy generated within the state while conditioning our approval on holding project developers to their promises of creating jobs and spurring economic growth. We have also acted to keep costs as low as possible in order to maximize the investment and benefit for Maryland’s electric customers.”

Image: US state of Maryland selects two companies to construct 368MW offshore wind farms. Photo: Courtesy of Jesper Baerentzen/