Ørsted makes bid for major expansion of Skipjack offshore wind project

0
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ørsted has submitted a bid to the Maryland Public Service Commission to develop Skipjack Wind 2, a massive wind generation project that could generate 760 megawatts.

Ørsted was previously awarded rights for Skipjack Wind 1, which will be in the same area as Skipjack Wind 1. The location is about 19 miles off the coast from Fenwick Island.

The bid is in response to the commission’s call for proposals for Round 2 offshore wind projects. The commission can award at least 1,200 megawatts of Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credits.

Skipjack 2 would power a quarter of a million homes

The new project will power more than 250,000 Delmarva homes, the equivalent of more than half of all residences in Delaware.

Skipjack would help meet Maryland’s 50% renewable energy mandate, although the company notes that both projects will benefit Delaware. Delaware has a less stringent 40% mandate and with its small landmass will require out-of-state wind power.

Brady Walker, Ørsted’s Mid-Atlantic Market Manager, stated that “the company builds, owns, and operates its offshore wind projects, and intends to be a member of the Delmarva community for decades to come. Ørsted firmly believes that local communities across Maryland and Delaware should enjoy the immense economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind, including opportunities for Delaware businesses to join the offshore wind supply chain.”

Ørsted will locate manufacturing operations in Maryland to supply the wind projects.

Other details

  • Ørsted is committed to environmental justice initiatives that will help ensure that the state’s overburdened and underserved communities have equal access to opportunities presented by the offshore wind industry. In partnership with local school districts, communities, and universities, the project will provide significant resources to support the development of innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programming and comprehensive workforce training initiatives.
  • The project has committed to bringing organized labor into both onshore and offshore construction.
  • Ørsted will expand the availability of grant funding for local organizations in Maryland and Delaware in protecting, preserving, and restoring the coastal habitat and environment.

Skipjack Wind 1, a 120 MW project off the Maryland-Delaware coast, is scheduled to be operational by the second quarter of 2026. The project was awarded during Maryland’s first offshore wind solicitation, commonly referred to as Round 1, in May of 2017. Skipjack 1 will generate enough clean energy to power 40,000 homes in the region.

Skipjack 1 draws opposition

Skipjack 1 was pushed back by a couple of years. Also, a plan to bring powerlines inland at a portion of Fenwick Island State Park turned out to be an environmentally fragile zone.

Skipjack 1 has drawn opposition from some Fenwick residents and the mayor of Ocean City, who would like to see the turbines moving closer to 30 miles off the coast. The Newark-based Caesar Rodney Institute has also opposed the project, claiming it would hurt tourism in Delaware and is too costly.

The fishing industry has also weighed in with its concerns.

Ørsted and supporters of the project claim the wind turbine towers, despite their height, would, at best, be barely visible.

Delaware has not moved forward with any wind proposals after being first out of the gate with the Bluewater Wind project. An inability to obtain financing after the 2009 recession led to the project being shelved. Also, the added tower height of the more powerful wind turbine likely means the project would be visible from Rehoboth Beach.

Delaware could also see benefits from Ørested’s massive project off the coast of New Jersey. Plans call for a wind-related manufacturing site across the river from Delaware and another further upriver. New Jersey sites often employ Delaware tradespeople.

Ørsted will host a virtual open house on July 19, at 6 p.m. to answer questions from the public about the expanded project. Individuals interested in attending the open house can register via this link:

In the United States, Denmark-based Ørsted operates the Block Island Wind Farm, America’s first offshore wind farm, and constructed the two-turbine Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind pilot project – the first turbines to be installed in federal waters. In addition, Ørsted has secured over 4,000 megawatts of additional capacity through six projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

Facebook Comments
SHARE
Previous articleSaint Francis’ parent makes Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory
Posts labeled Special to Delaware Business Now are typically submitted items that are updated and sometimes rewritten in news style. Background information is sometimes added.