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EGEB: Maryland offshore wind plans make a great leap forward

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • Baltimore-based US Wind announces a new offshore wind farm and other major developments.
  • Costa Rica is considering a permanent ban on fossil fuel exploration and extraction.
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Maryland offshore wind

Baltimore-based offshore wind development company US Wind had some big announcements about Maryland’s burgeoning offshore wind industry on Tuesday.

First, it’s finalized major labor agreements with the Baltimore-DC Building and Construction Trades and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for US Wind’s first major offshore wind project for the mid-Atlantic state, the 22-turbine MarWin project, and all other future projects.

MarWin is expected to start generating 270 megawatts of clean power in 2025. It will consist of 22 wind turbines 17 miles off the coast of Ocean City.

Second, US Wind also introduced plans for developing Momentum Wind,  an 82-turbine, 1,200-megawatt offshore wind farm.

MarWin and Momentum Wind will together produce enough clean energy to power 400,000 Maryland homes annually.

Finally, US Wind announced a 90-acre lease agreement with Tradepoint Atlantic for Sparrows Point Steel, Maryland’s first permanent offshore wind component factory. It will be sited at the Tradepoint Atlantic site in Baltimore County. US Wind writes:

With significant marshaling and storage land, considerable quayside access, and an adjacent drydock, Sparrows Point Steel would be one of the most competitive wind logistics hubs on the East Coast, capable of staging and delivering several wind components, such as nacelle, towers, and blades, as well as foundations.

Governor Larry Hogan (R-MD) said:

Offshore wind presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand and diversify our economy and our energy portfolio. Maryland is proud to continue to be an example of strong environmental leadership, and I am confident that we will be a leader in offshore wind development for decades to come.

Read more: Maryland county transitioning to electric public school buses

Fossil fuel ban in Costa Rica

Costa Rica lawmakers are discussing a bill this week that would permanently ban fossil fuel exploration and extraction. The Central American country already gets 99% of its electricity from clean energy, with most of it coming from hydropower.

Costa Rica has never explored for fossil fuels before, and the current administration wants to ensure that it isn’t reversed in the future, as there is a pro-exploration movement in the country that has not yet gained traction.

Christiana Figueres, a former UN climate chief and Costa Rican government official, and a public advocate for the bill, told Reuters:

Our concern now is to remove the temptation, either today or at any time tomorrow, for there to be any current or future government who might think that returning to fossil fuels of the past century is actually a good idea for our country.

Were we to have them, we probably wouldn’t see any income from them until at least 10 to 15 years from now, when the demand for oil and gas is actually going to be even less than it is now.

To have small countries actually take the lead is very important, because those of us that are actually doing the right thing, we definitely punch above our weight. Just because Costa Rica is tiny, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a voice.

A vote on the bill may be held as late as October. Costa Rica has a net zero by 2050 target, in alignment with the Paris Agreement.

Photo: Dane Wiedmann/Flickr

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.