Working with Tradepoint Atlantic, turbines expected to be built off coast of OC
(Aug. 2, 2019) The plan to install wind turbines off the coast near Ocean City took an important step last month, as Danish-based Ørsted, the primary developer, joined with Tradepoint Atlantic to create a staging area in Baltimore.
Ørsted, which bought Deepwater Wind and will pursue its Skipjack wind farm off the coast, said the turbines will be located 19.5 miles offshore, mostly north of the Delaware line, 26 miles from the Ocean City Pier.
While the exact specifications for the turbines are unknown, Joy Weber, development manager for the Skipjack Wind Farm, said she anticipated a slight possibility that beachgoers may be able to see them with the naked eye.
“You’ll have to squint to see these,” she said. “When weather conditions are perfect, you will be able to see them, but if you’re standing on the Ocean City Pier in order to see our project, you’ll need to look way to the left and squint.”
Weber said she’s looking forward to the continued development of renewable energy with Tradepoint Atlantic as an ally.
“We’re really excited about the partnership with Tradepoint [Atlantic],” Weber said. “We’ve known that it’s kind of been in the works for a while and it just really great to be able to point to something that shows real tangible progress in the industry.”
Henry Fawell, a public relations representative, said Ørsted would use a Tradepoint Atlantic site to receive parts, assemble and transport the wind turbines.
Kerry Doyle, chief commercial officer for Tradepoint Atlantic, stressed the importance of this initiative and the potential impact on the renewable energy industry as a whole.
“This represents the first step of many to come in growing the offshore wind industry, and Tradepoint Atlantic plans to play a major role in making sure it thrives here in Maryland,” Doyle said last month.
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford also praised the project during a ceremony last month in Sparrows Point in Baltimore County.
“This partnership is the latest exciting chapter in the remarkable transformation of the Sparrows Point site,” Rutherford said last month. “Gov. Hogan and I have been deeply committed to working with Tradepoint Atlantic to ensure this site is just as economically dominant in the 21st century as it was in the 20th [century].”
However, not all parties involved are pleased. Leaders in Ocean City have been constant in their opposition to this and another wind farm being developed by Deepwater wind off the coast.
“To be crystal clear, while we are great supporters of clean energy, our primary concern is the best interest and future of Ocean City,” Mayor Rick Meehan said in June 2018. “We will continue to do whatever it takes to protect our beach and will not be bullied or bribed into changing our minds. Our view is not for sale.”
To that end, Weber said her team is also working to address any concerns or possible pushback from community members in Ocean City.
“I think there’s been a little bit of unease around what they’re going to look like from the Town of Ocean City,” Weber said. “So we continue to communicate with folks there and answer questions as best as possible, but this is a new industry for our country so I think hesitation is natural.”
Construction of the Skipjack wind farm is expected to begin in 2021, with it becoming operational in late 2022 or early 2023, according to officials. In the meantime, Weber said “we’re going through a pretty extensive permitting process.”
Additionally, Ørsted is prepared to invest $200 million during the Skipjack wind farm’s construction phase, according to a statement from Ørsted. Upon completion, officials expect the wind farm to power approximately 35,000 homes with renewable energy.
The entire project is expected to generate 1,400 jobs, according to Fawell.
This article was updated to reflect Ørsted purchased Deepwater Wind.