Maryland sets course for offshore wind energy expansion with new legislation

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(Reuters) – Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed a bill aimed at reevaluating and potentially revising existing offshore wind project plans, setting the stage for the state’s goal of achieving 8,500 megawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2031.

The bill signed on May 9 will empower the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) to open proceedings to evaluate offshore wind projects, including offshore wind renewable energy credit (OREC) pricing.

The bill, which facilitates the increase of the maximum amount of ORECs sold under certain conditions, will be effective from June 1 when the PSC will open a revised round 2 offshore wind project proceeding.

The bill will allow the state to reallocate the support awarded to Orsted’s Skipjack project, from whose power purchase agreement the developer withdrew, to other eligible offshore wind projects, OffshoreWIND.biz, an online media platform wrote on Monday.

Denmark’s Orsted (CSE:), the world’s biggest offshore wind firm, said in late January it was exiting a deal to supply offshore wind power to Maryland from Skipjack because the previously agreed contract was no longer commercially viable.

The legislation also mandates the PSC to report on a comprehensive plan for the state’s offshore wind procurements through 2031. This plan will lay out a path for future offshore wind energy projects.