Maryland regulators OK change to jumbo wind turbines for Skipjack project

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Ørsted announced that the Maryland Public Service Commission’s the Skipjack Wind Farm’s use of GE Haliade-X 12 megawatt wind turbines.

The wind farm is slated to be located off the Maryland and Delaware coasts off Fenwick Island and Ocean City. The turbine is the most powerful in the world and is as tall as a 55-story building. GE claims the wind turbines produce electricity at a lower cost than competitors.

“Ørsted is pleased that the Maryland Public Service Commission approved the project’s longstanding commitment to use the best commercially available turbine technology,” said Brady Walker, Ørsted’s Mid-Atlantic market manager. “The project will continue to engage with all stakeholders on creating a project that all Marylanders can be proud of. We look forward to continuing our work in delivering clean and reliable energy to over 35,000 homes in the Delmarva region.”

Ocean City has about 31,000 homes. Many are seasonal residences.

The company revised its proposal to a dozen or fewer wind turbines from 15 in its plans to use the GE wind turbines.

Ørsted noted that no evidence surfaced in the process over adverse effects to navigational safety, marine life or other environmental problems.

The town of Ocean City had opposed the project with Mayor Rick Meehan suggesting that the turbines be moved from 19 and a half to 30 miles offshore. The company noted that a visual expert determined that the project in of itself would not have any significant visual impact.

Ørsted is now studying where to bring electric lines onshore. Delaware sites have been mentioned after a plan to connect to the Delaware grid in a portion of Fenwick Island State Park was dropped for environmental reasons.’

The project had been opposed by Delaware-based Caesar Rodney Institute. Objections centered on costs to ratepayers, visual impact and possible loss of tourism revenue.

Critics claimed the added height of the turbine towers would lead to aircraft lights being visible at night from shore.

Further information is available at www.skipjackwindfarm.com.

Ørsted U.S. Offshore Wind has been awarded over 2,900 megawatts of capacity through six projects. The Danish companyoperates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants. The company employs 6,700.

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