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Maryland to require public utilities enter long-term offshore PPAs

UNITED STATES: Public utilities in Maryland will be required to enter into long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) for offshore wind projects, under new rules.

Maryland governor O'Malley with interior secretary Ken Salazar
Maryland governor O'Malley with interior secretary Ken Salazar

The state has introduced the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2011, under which utilities will have to purchase between 400MW and 600MW from projects off the mid-Atlantic coast.

The PPAs must be for a period of 20 or more years. This is intended to allow Maryland to fix electricity rates over long periods to provide price stability.

New Jersey introduced the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act in August. The bill requires a percentage of electricity sold in the state to be from offshore wind energy, which would amount to at least 1.1GW.

It will also provide financial assistance for offshore projects through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

The areas off the coast of Maryland and New Jersey were among the wind energy areas designated by the US government last week.

The areas are on the outer continental shelf off the coast of Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia.

The US Department of Energy also pledged up to $50.5 million in funding for offshore wind development projects

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