United States

United States

Maryland auction date set

UNITED STATES: An area offshore Maryland will be offered for commercial wind development on 19 August, the US Department of the Interior (DoI) has announced.

The site off the coast of Maryland will go up for auction on 19 August
The site off the coast of Maryland will go up for auction on 19 August

Almost 323 square kilometres will be put up for a competitive lease sale for developers to bid for the right to construct on it.

The Maryland Wind Energy Area will be split in to two areas for the lease, with one plot of 133 square kilometres and the second totalling 190 square kilometres.

The area is located 10 nautical miles from Ocean City, off the US east coast. A study by the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory said the lease could support a total capacity of between 850MW and 1.45GW.

According to the DoI, 16 companies qualify to take part in the auction process.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said 850 manufacturing and construction jobs would be created over a five-year period, with potential for an additional 160 longer-term supply and operation and maintenance posts if the projects go ahead.

The development is part of the government's 'Smart from the Start' wind initiative, designed to help implement offshore projects.

Elsewhere in the US, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced it will conduct a study into the affect offshore wind development has on tourism and recreational activities for the Atlantic coast. The study will be run with the University of Delaware.

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