Wind Turbines

Wind company to construct emissions-free operations and maintenance building

Offshore wind energy developer Ørsted announced this week it will build Maryland’s first emissions-free offshore wind operations and maintenance facility in west Ocean City. 

The nearly $20 million facility, to be located on Harbor Road, will service Ørsted’s Skipjack Wind program, create up to 110 temporary and permanent jobs in the community, and position the Ocean City area as a strategic hub for offshore wind jobs and economic activity, according to a statement issued by the company.

Skipjack Wind 1 is a 120-megawatt offshore wind energy project under development in Maryland that Ørsted said will power 40,000 homes in the region, generate $225 million in economic investment in Maryland, and create nearly 1,400 jobs statewide. 

The new facility will serve as the strategic embarkation point for up to three crew transfer vessels that will service Skipjack Wind 1. 

The facility will include a warehouse and serve as Ørsted’s Ocean City area office. Ørsted plans to use zero emission crew vessels at the facility as part of its commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. 

The facility will serve as the permanent home for key members of the Skipjack Wind 1 Maryland team, including wind turbine maintenance technicians, engineers, operations personnel and other key roles.

By locating its O&M facility in the Ocean City area, Ørsted is fulfilling a commitment made to the State of Maryland when the Public Service Commission awarded the project in 2017. 

This is the second major economic development commitment Ørsted has fulfilled, following the 2019 launch of Maryland’s first offshore wind staging center at Tradepoint Atlantic in Baltimore County.

“Wind energy promises cost-effective clean energy and jobs right here at home,” said U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin. “I’m excited to see how this project moves forward, working closely with Ocean City and the local community. This new facility will help solidify Maryland as a national leader in creating the clean energy economy that will strengthen national security by lessening our dependence on foreign oil and protect our environment for generations to come.”

“As the global leader in offshore wind energy, Ørsted firmly believes that the Ocean City community deserves full access to the incredible promise of this new American industry,” said David Hardy, CEO of Ørsted Offshore North America.

“We are excited to fulfill another commitment made to the State of Maryland and look forward to working with Ocean City residents, including its local fishing community, to make this a project that benefits all.”

This story appears in the print version of Ocean City Today on Oct. 8, 2021.

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