Maryland Public Service Commission
The Maryland Public Service Commission has awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits (ORECs) to two projects to be built off the coast of Maryland. This decision will enable U.S. Wind, Inc. and Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC to construct 368 megawatts of capacity, together yielding over $1.8 billion of in-state spending, creating almost 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs and contributing $74 million in state tax revenues over 20 years.
Each company is awarded ORECs at a levelized price of $131.93 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for a term of 20 years, beginning in January 2021 for U.S. Wind and 2023 for Skipjack. According to the Commission’s independent consultant, Levitan & Associates, Inc., the net ratepayer bill impacts associated with the Commission’s approval are projected to be less than $1.40 per month for residential customers and less than a 1.4 percent impact on the annual bills of commercial and industrial (C&I) customers – both less than the ratepayer impacts authorized by the enabling legislation, the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013. Those impacts will not take effect until electricity is actually generated by the projects. U.S. Wind’s project is expected to be operational in early 2020; Skipjack anticipates being in operation near the end of 2022.
In Order No. 88192 in Case No. 9431, the Commission attached nearly 30 conditions to the approval, including requirements that the developers create a minimum of 4,977 direct jobs during the development, construction and operating phases of the projects; pass 80 percent of any construction costs savings to ratepayers; and contribute $6 million each to the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund.
The companies will be required to use port facilities in the greater Baltimore region and Ocean City for construction and operations and maintenance activities. The developers must invest collectively at least $76 million in a steel fabrication plant in Maryland and together fund at least $39.6 million to support port upgrades at the Tradepoint Atlantic (formerly Sparrows Point) shipyard in Baltimore County.
Order No. 88192 can be downloaded below.
Thursday, May 11, 2017