offshore wind

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — Hundreds of residents of Maryland and Delaware packed a public hearing held over the weekend to solicit opinions on offshore wind projects.

At least 700 people attended the hearing of the Maryland Public Service Commission on Saturday in Ocean City.

The Daily Times reported that the hearing was part of the commission's inquiry into impacts related to changes in the turbine sizes originally anticipated for use in two company's offshore wind projects.

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Ocean City residents will get a chance to weigh in on the proposed offshore wind farm.

Specifically, the Maryland Public Service Commission will be looking at the impact of taller turbines along the coastline.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the hearing will be held on January 18th at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center.

The two projects under consideration are the Skipjack Wind Farm and MarWin Wind Farm.

The commission review comes after the developers updated their plans with taller and more powerful turbines

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A deal has been signed by ARCON with the United Kingdom’s largest offshore training company AIS Training to locate a facility in Salisbury.

WBOC reports company officials say it would be the state-of-the-art training facility on the East Coast.

ARCON is hoping the begin training next year with the facility located on Northwood Drive.

Katarina Ennerfelt, ARCON’s CEO, told the television station that the company would train anyone who has anything to do with offshore wind.

That would include jobs in such areas wind turbine maintenance and boat safety.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is pushing for more money to help clean up the Chesapeake Bay and promote the state's nascent offshore wind industry.

Northam unveiled part of his forthcoming budget proposal Wednesday that includes $400 million in new money for efforts aimed at cleaning the Chesapeake Bay. That includes upgrading wastewater treatment plans and restoring oyster reefs.

Northam also announced proposed new funding for land conservation and a revolving loan fund to help clean energy efforts.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - Developers of two planned wind farms off Maryland's coast now plan to build turbines more than 200 feet (61 meters) taller than initially proposed.

The revised plans are prompting another round of public review the projects, which received state approval in 2017.

Maryland's Public Service Commission issued an order last month reopening the case for public comment. Those comments are due by Friday.

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With the prospect of offshore wind coming to the coastline of the Eastern Shore city, county and business leaders met last night to see how Wicomico County might benefit from the new industry.

WBOC reports that Dave Ryan executive director of Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development called this a new chance for jobs and new innovation.

Meanwhile, Wicomico County Council President John Cannon said he believed the area had the workforce and the infrastructure such as airports and waterways that would benefit the industry.

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The offer by the Orsted energy company to make improvements on the Fenwick Island State Park in exchange for a connection to an offshore wind farm got a public hearing last night.

The company would provide improvements such as a parking garage a pedestrian overpass among other amenities.

WBOC reports that some in the audience were excited about the prospect that would provide greater access to the park.

But there were concerns that the area could lose the quiet nature of the community and become more like Ocean City.

Others worried about accountability.

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The energy company Orsted has offered up to $18 million in improvements for the Fenwick Island State Park in exchange for a construction of an interconnection on the property for an offshore wind farm.

The company offer ranges from a pedestrian overpass connecting the park and a new chamber of commerce to an event space and parking garage.

Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens told WBOC that these kinds of improvements would greatly improve the park.

He noted that there is currently there is no indoor space for educational programs

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Dominion Energy wants to build what it says would be the largest offshore wind project in the United States off the Virginia coast.

The company told The Associated Press ahead of a public announcement Thursday that it is seeking regulatory approval to build about 220 wind turbines in federal waters it has already leased 27 miles (43 kilometers) off Virginia Beach.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Old Dominion University and the Virginia chapter of the Sierra Club will host a town hall meeting on offshore wind development.

The meeting will highlight plans for the nation's first wind turbines in federal waters off Virginia's coast.

Dominion Energy recently announced that the company will start the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project this month to build two wind turbines.

A panel discussion will include experts from ODU, Dominion Energy, the Port of Virginia, Tidewater Community College and others.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam says his state is well positioned to lead the development of the nation's offshore wind industry.

The Democrat spoke Friday in Norfolk at a conference sponsored by industry members and Virginia's Sierra Club chapter.

Dominion Energy and the Danish firm Orsted already plan to install two turbines 27 miles (43 kilometers) off the coast for a pilot project. But Northam said Virginia has the capacity for offshore turbines to generate power for 500,000 homes.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Virginia has moved one step closer to launching its first offshore wind project.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday that Dominion Energy has filed for approval from the State Corporation Commission to erect two wind turbines.

The initial demonstration project would stand about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. If approved, electricity would begin to flow in 2020.

The power company has teamed up with Orsted, a Denmark-based energy firm.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia has picked a consultant to help boost its chances of becoming the east coast hub of the offshore wind industry.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that the state Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy had picked BVG Associates as its advisor. The company is tasked with developing a plan to make Virginia more attractive to the offshore wind supply chain and service industries.

Virginia is one of several east coast states interested in becoming the manufacturing base of the burgeoning offshore wind industry.

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Congressman Andy Harris says that the proposed wind projects off the shores of Ocean City could harm marine life.

The Eastern Shore Republicans says it needs more study and is sponsoring legislation that would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to carry out a two year research project to look at the potential impact.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports he noted that once the project is up and running there is no turning back.

There are two proposed projects.

One by Deepwater Wind and the other by U.S. Wind which were approved last year.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's administration says it is looking for advice on how to make the state more attractive to offshore wind power.

Northam's office announced Tuesday that the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy is seeking a contract to provide a strategic plan to make Virginia an east coast hub for the offshore wind energy industry.

Virginia currently doesn't have any offshore turbines.

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There’s a petition going around by opponents of wind turbines off the shoreline of Ocean City.

WBOC reports that the petition is asking that they be placed 26 miles from the coast.

The project is now looking at 19 miles.

Wind developers say moving the turbines further out would violate the federally designated area for their placement.

There has already been push back from the resort’s officials who fear it may interview with the view enjoyed by tourists.

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Efforts by Ocean City to push two offshore wind projects farther off the coastline have failed in Annapolis.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that a House panel essentially killed the legislative bid by offering up an unfavorable report.

The Maryland Climate Change Coalition issued a statement praising the decision saying that it will mean not only a clean environment but jobs and stable electricity rates.

The measure would have pushed the turbines out to 26 miles.

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OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) - A new bill in Maryland's General Assembly would prohibit offshore wind turbines from being erected within 26 miles of the coast.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that House and Senate versions of the measure are scheduled to be debated in committee rooms this week. But the proposal is likely to face stiff headwinds in the Democratically controlled Legislature, which has backed several recent renewable energy initiatives.

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A workshop for potential offshore wind energy is scheduled for Lewes next Tuesday.

It’s being sponsored by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the state’s Offshore Wind Working Group.

During the public workshop to be held at the Lewes Public Library representatives from the U.S. Wind and Deepwater Wind companies layout possible projects for Delaware and their economic benefit to the region.

WBOC reports that the Offshore Wind Working Group began meeting in October and must provide a report to the governor by December 15th.

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Governor John Carney wants to take another look at the idea of offshore wind generation.

The Delaware Democrat signed an executive order to create a working group to study the issue.

WBOC reports that the move comes after previous efforts have failed.

Rehoboth Beach Mayor-Elect Paul Kuhns told the television station that he personally favors such projects as long as the turbines 12 to 15 miles offshore.

He adds that they might even create some new tourism.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A Maryland environmental coalition is criticizing an amendment added to legislation by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris that they say could stop two offshore wind proposals near Ocean City.

The Maryland Climate Coalition said Wednesday the amendment approved by the House Appropriations Committee this week would prohibit the Interior Department from approving project construction plans, despite six years of debate and approval by state lawmakers and regulators.

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A measure by Congressman Andy Harris to require offshore wind turbines to be at least 24 miles off the coast could jeopardize their development in the region.

The amendment by the Eastern Shore Republican was approved by the House Appropriations Committee.

And it comes after Ocean City officials said the sight of the turbines could jeopardize the resort’s tourist industry.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports Harris points out that a similar project of the Virginia coast was 27 miles away from the shore.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - A report issued by Oceana concludes the development of wind turbines off Virginia's coast would create thousands of jobs.
 
The oceans advocacy group issued a report Wednesday that compares offshore wind development vs. drilling for oil and gas in Atlantic waters. Oceana said the economic analysis found that wind development would produce twice the number of jobs and energy as oil and gas drilling.
 

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to testify before a state Senate committee about a key part of his environmental agenda, an offshore wind energy bill that the panel has twice failed to pass.

The governor is scheduled to testify Wednesday before the Senate Finance Committee. The senate's president has moved a member of committee to another panel in order to get the votes needed to move the measure to the full Senate, where it has enough sponsors to pass this year.

 

The state of Virginia has lost out on plans by the global Wind giant Gamesa to build a wind turbine prototype.

Instead, the company has chosen the Spanish Canary Islands because of the sluggish pace of offshore wind development in the US.         

The Spanish company had gotten regulatory approval last March to build a 479-foot, 5-megawatt wind turbine off the Eastern Shore.

The prototype would have been located about three miles off the town of Cape Charles with a completion date set for sometime next year.

 

 

            Around 500 Marylanders joined hands around the State House building in Annapolis last night calling it a circle of support for the offshore wind energy legislation now pending in the General Assembly.
            They were equipped with eco-friendly glow-in-the-dark miniature wind turbines handmade banners and signs and wearing electric blue t-shirts.

             The Salisbury Daily Times reports…that neither lawmakers nor activists could remember ever seeing the State House encircled like this.

 

       ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Supporters of offshore wind will be highlighting its benefits as the House of Delegates nears a vote on a measure to develop it in Maryland.

     A coalition of supporters is scheduled to talk on Friday about how the measure could help minority-owned businesses in the state. They also will be discussing health benefits they say will result from reducing air pollution.

     The House of Delegates could vote on the bill as soon as Friday.