O’Malley, wind power advocates rally for passage of bill

ANNAPOLIS — It was an unusual sight Monday night as hundreds of people joined hands and encircled the State House to show support for wind power legislation.

Gov. Martin O’Malley

More than 400 turned out to push for final passage of Gov. Martin O’Malley’s offshore wind energy bill, which passed the House of Delegates last week and must now clear the Senate. Activists rallied before forming the “circle of support” and were greeted by a number of lawmakers, including O’Malley himself, who urged the crowd to lobby their senators in the days before the General Assembly adjourns next week.

“We can guarantee ourselves a long-term hedge for a commodity whose price will not rise,” O’Malley said. “It would be absolutely nuts for us as an Atlantic state not to want to be one of the first to harness the most available renewable resource we have out there.”

The bill would erect 40 wind turbines 10 miles off the coast of Ocean City by 2017. It would also cap the household surcharge at $1.50 per 1000 kilowatt-hours, while businesses would pay a surcharge of 1.5 percent of total consumption.

Chants of “We want wind” echoed across Lawyers Mall as O’Malley exited the podium. He was followed by a long line of speakers, including several delegates and senators, who all echoed his call for lobbying, arguing that investing in wind energy would create jobs and help the environment.

After the speeches, the more than 400 rally-goers moved in a single-file line around the State House. Many held miniature wind turbines that glowed blue as they sang, “All we are saying is give wind a chance,” directed to the legislators inside. According to supporters it was the first time in recent memory, if not ever, that a group has encircled the State House.

Supporters have pushed hard for the governor’s bill, which has been downsized considerably from similar legislation that failed to pass the legislature last year.


  1. These Windy fans, blowing in the Wind, should take a trip to the UK in the worst cold of winter and Texas in the worst heat of summer before they hook their carts to the MOST EXPENSIVE form of energy.

    When it is claimed ““We can guarantee ourselves a long-term hedge for a commodity whose price will not rise,” this addresses only a Single Facet of the
    Costs wind energy would occasion.

    Study has shown,in comparing energy sources:

    Plant Type – Wind – Offshore
    Capacity Factor (%) = 34
    U.S. Average Levelized Costs (2009 $/megawatthour) for Plants Entering Service in 2016
    Levelized Capital Cost = 209.3
    Fixed O&M = 28.1
    Variable O&M (including fuel) = 0.0
    Transmission Investment = 5.9
    Total System Levelized Cost = 243.2

    Plant Type – Natural Gas-fired [From Fracking potentially ?]
    Advanced Combined Cycle
    Capacity Factor (%)= 87
    U.S. Average Levelized Costs (2009 $/megawatthour) for Plants Entering Service in 2016
    Levelized Capital Cost =17.9
    Fixed O&M =1.9
    Variable O&M (including fuel) = 42.1
    Transmission Investment = 1.2
    Total System Levelized Cost = 63.1

    1 Costs are expressed in terms of net AC power available to the grid for the installed capacity.
    Source: Energy Information Administration, Annual Energy Outlook 2011, December 2010, DOE/EIA-0383(2010)

    We also need to appreciate that “EARLY” implementations would, at best, entail additional costs to modify and incorporate enhancements experience by others will produce.

    This session the general assembly and the Governor have been generating “Revenue enhancements” to address the billion dollar budget shortfall and another billion plus in NEW SPENDING! Tax payers/rate payers can not afford further attacks by politicians seeking to fatten their own purses, their electability and move on while leaving the State to suffer the impact of their schemes.

  2. The governor has a spending problem and this is proof of it. Why when things are so bad are we investing in failed ventures like this just to appease a few environmentalists? This will turn out to be another big black whole for the taxpayers.

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