Ocean City, Maryland officials balk at proposed offshore wind farm
A battle over the development of offshore wind turbines in Ocean City, Maryland has stalled construction of a proposed wind farm.
Last summer, the Maryland Public Service Commission approved the construction of wind turbines in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ocean City. However, Ocean City officials have their own regulations, which requires wind farms to be built 26 nautical miles offshore. The 62 turbines were initially proposed to be 14 miles offshore. They stand 370 feet tall. The cost of construction is $1.4 billion.
City officials made this rule because they did not want the turbines to be seen by tourists, who flock to the resort town in the summer. Local officials fear it will drive tourists to neighboring beach resort towns.
The developer, U.S. Wind, has offered Ocean City officials incentives, including ‘free’ electricity and community reinvestment, to reconsider, but they have not budged. Ocean City officials have called the community benefits package vague and undefined. They believe the money would be better spent on relocating the wind turbine. A 15-turbine, $720 million project by Skipjack Offshore Wind to be situated north of the U.S. Wind project.
U.S. Wind has also offered to scale back the project to just 32 turbines at least 17 nautical miles from shore, but the matter remains at a standstill.
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