Maryland-based offshore developer US Wind announced plans this week to expand its 22-turbine MarWin project to include up to 82 turbines under the new Momentum Wind project for up to 1,200 MW additional offshore wind energy.
US Wind also intends to develop 90 waterfront acres into a new offshore wind deployment hub where the company will invest $77 million through the existing MarWin project. The company will incrementally invest $150 million to develop Sparrows Point Steel – the state’s first manufacturing facility dedicated to creating offshore wind foundations.
“Because of the successes we’ve achieved in the development of MarWin, US Wind is ready to offer Maryland its most ambitious clean energy project to-date and, with it, the state’s first permanent offshore wind steel fabrication facility,” Jeff Grybowski, US Wind CEO, said in a statement. “Developing Momentum Wind and Sparrows Point Steel at full capacity will give Maryland the opportunity to bring steel back to Baltimore and become the epicenter of offshore wind manufacturing.”
The company says the Momentum Wind project could fully meet Maryland’s offshore wind energy goals.
Gov. Larry Hogan called US Wind’s announcement a “game-changing” moment.
“Offshore wind presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand and diversify our economy and our energy portfolio,” he said. “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.”
US Wind estimates the Momentum Wind project will generate around 3,600 jobs and more than $1 billion in labor income over 20 years. The company acquired the 80,000-acre federal lease are off the coast of Maryland in 2014. The entire lease area can support approximately 1.5 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity.
According to data released earlier this year by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), in both 2019 and 2020, project developers in the United States installed more wind power capacity than any other generating technology.
In its Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, annual wind turbine capacity additions in the United States set a record in 2020, totaling 14.2 gigawatts (GW) and surpassing the previous record of 13.2 GW added in 2012. After this record year for wind turbine capacity additions, total wind turbine capacity in the United States is now 118 GW.