Maryland to pass 1.2GW offshore target

Maryland's governor intends to allow a bill to pass that would set a target for the state having at least 1.2GW of additional offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Governor Larry Hogan speaking in Baltimore, Maryland, in March (pic: Maryland GovPics)

This story was first published on 12 April. It was updated on 23 May.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act also increases the eastern state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% (up from 25% by 2020), and requires the state to evaluate steps to reach 100% clean energy by 2040.

It includes measures requiring the state to have at least 400MW of additional offshore wind capacity online 2026, at least 800MW by 2028, and 1.2GW by 2030.

These figures are in addition to capacity already awarded.

The bill passed the Maryland senate on 20 May.

Republican Governor Larry Hogan has said he intends to let bill take effect without his signature, but worries it will send too many jobs out of the state.

In a letter to the state senate’s president Thomas "Mike" Miller, Hogan wrote: "Despite its name, this bill is not clean enough, nor smart enough, nor does it create the intended jobs within Maryland."

As well as announcing his intention to let the bill pass, governor Hogan called for Maryland to procure 100% clean electricity by 2040. He also made a commitment to submit a plan to the General Assembly on the first day of the 2020 legislative session.

Andrew Gohn, the American Wind Energy Association’s director for eastern state affairs, said: "Leadership from the governor and the Maryland General Assembly to expand the state’s RPS will drive new investments in the state’s clean energy resources, spur new jobs and opportunities for communities across the state, and secure infrastructure improvements vital to growing the state’s offshore wind industry."

Maryland’s state regulator approve financial support – in the form of offshore renewable energy credits (ORECs) – in 2017 for Ørsted’s 120MW Skipjack and US Wind’s 270MW MarWin projects, both planned for sites off the coast of Ocean City.