Ørsted selected to expand windfarm area off Delaware coast

US Wind also awarded ORECs for offshore wind site due east of Maryland
December 31, 2021

The Maryland Public Service Commission announced Dec. 17 it has selected Skipjack Wind 2, an offshore wind clean energy project proposed by Ørsted, for a 20-year Offshore Renewable Energy Credit.

The award includes an 846-megawatt project which, according to a press release from Ørsted, will power approximately 250,000 homes in the Delmarva region with clean energy.

Skipjack Wind 2 will help Maryland reach its goal of installing at least 1,200 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030. Ørsted’s new Skipjack Wind 2 project will deliver more than two-thirds of the state’s target.

Skipjack Wind 2 is Ørsted’s second offshore wind energy project in Maryland. It will be located adjacent to the company’s 120 MW Skipjack Wind 1. Ørsted will build Skipjack Wind 1 and 2 as one project, with operations expected to begin in 2026. While the company is making investments in manufacturing areas of Maryland, the project area is found in federal waters due east of Delaware’s coastline.

David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America, said the Denmark-based company is proud that once again it was able to leverage its market-leading portfolio of offshore wind projects to attract major supply chain companies to set up local manufacturing operations in Maryland.

“We are honored that Maryland’s Public Service Commission selected Ørsted as a trusted partner in helping the state reach its ambitious renewable energy goals,” said Hardy in a prepared statement.

According to Ørsted, Skipjack Wind 2 will generate approximately $510 million in supply chain investments in Maryland and create thousands of jobs, including in manufacturing, operations and maintenance.

With Skipjack Wind 2, Ørsted said it will partner with Hellenic Cables SA to establish the U.S.’s first fully integrated array cable manufacturing facility in Maryland. Ørsted said it will also facilitate the construction of a world-class offshore wind tower manufacturing facility in the state, which can produce 100 turbine towers annually. Ørsted is already developing Maryland’s first offshore wind operations and maintenance facility in West Ocean City. In October, the company established Maryland’s first offshore wind steel fabrication center at Crystal Steel Fabricators in Federalsburg.

Subject to Ørsted’s final investment decision, Ørsted expects to commission Skipjack Wind 2 in 2026.

US Wind awarded ORECs for the second time

Not to be outdone, US Wind announced Dec. 22 it has also been awarded more ORECs from the Maryland Public Service Commissioner. These are for Momentum Wind, an 808.5-megawatt project found in the federal lease area due east of Ocean City.

The 55 turbines for Momentum Wind will be in addition to the 22 turbines anticipated for MarWin, the company’s first project for Maryland, which will be constructed in the same lease area. In total, the two projects will have over 1,100 MW of capacity and, according to US Wind, be able to power roughly 300,000 homes – 80,000 with MarWin and 200,000 with Momemtum Wind.

“With the approval of Momentum Wind, US Wind has over a gigawatt of offshore wind power under contract with the state of Maryland,” said Riccardo Toto, director and president at US Wind, in a prepared statement. “It is with great pride that we celebrate this victory and begin down the path of making history for Marylanders.”

US Wind also plans to establish a new steel fabrication facility at Tradepoint Atlantic to support the country’s offshore wind industry. US Wind’s plans are estimated to support thousands of local jobs, many of which will be filled by local labor unions and minority-owned businesses. 

In 2017, US Wind was awarded ORECs from the Maryland Public Service Commission to build MarWin, an approximately 300 MW offshore wind project consisting of up to 22 turbines. Anticipated to start generating clean energy in 2025, MarWin is expected to support more than 1,300 Maryland jobs. US Wind now controls an approximately 80,000-acre federal lease area off the coast of Maryland.

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