Mid-Atlantic Offshore Wind Farm Gains Traction

John Davis

Offshorewindmills2A couple of events this week could bring the hope of wind farms off the coasts of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia … better known as the Delmarva … closer to reality.

The Ocean City (MD) Dispatch reports that on Monday, Bluewater Wind, which already has an offshore wind farm project well underway in Delaware and a conceptual plan for a second one off the coast of Maryland, was taken over by NRG Energy Inc., a major player in energy production and distribution in the region. Then, on Tuesday, the governors of Maryland, Delaware and Virginia signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a tri-state partnership for the deployment of offshore wind energy in the mid-Atlantic coastal region:

Viewed individually, each event represents a gentle nudge in the direction of future wind farms off the mid-Atlantic coast. Together, however, they represent a significant move toward the development of the alternative energy source in the three states that comprise Delmarva. First and foremost, the MOU agreed upon by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine on Tuesday creates a formal partnership that could pull together the region’s significant offshore wind resources.

“No one state will be able to do this independently of the other states in the region,” said Bluewater Wind’s Dave Blazer. “There will have to be some spillover. It’s a pretty exciting development in this effort and should be beneficial for the region as a whole.”

Blazer explained the MOU essentially opens the door for the three states to partner and pool its collective resources on things like economic development, research and development and job training, for example. O’Malley agreed the MOU represents a significant step in the collaborative effort to develop offshore wind resources off the coast of the three states.

The article goes on to point out that Bluewater Wind already has a 25-year, 200-megawatt power purchase agreement with Delmarva Power and Light that has already been approved by the Delaware Public Service Commission as well as other state agencies. Maryland and Virginia are a bit further behind in their wind energy developments, but the new memorandum of understanding between the three states is expected to push their efforts forward as well.