Offshore Wind Power Makes Waves in Ocean City
On September 23, 2010, a town hall meeting was held in Ocean City, Maryland, to discuss Maryland's offshore wind power potential. Representatives from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Energy Administration spoke with residents, business owners, and environmentalists about the State's plans to build a 200-turbine wind park off the Ocean City coastline.
Wind power has the potential to provide two-thirds of Maryland's current electricity demand, will bring about more reliable electricity service and price stability, and has no greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, thousands of green jobs would be added to the State's economy for the construction and maintenance of the wind park.
The State currently is narrowing the geographical area for the wind park and navigating the lengthy federal permitting process. Ocean City requested that the turbines be located at least 10 miles off the coastline and the State is working to comply with that request. Residents were assured that only the tips of the fan blades would be visible along the horizon and then only on clear, winter days.
The development of the offshore wind park is in response to the Renewable Portfolio Standard that Maryland set in 2004, which requires that the state receive 20% of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2022.
The town hall meeting was coordinated by the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the Sierra Club Maryland, Environment Maryland, and the Maryland League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.