Paul Rich, the director of project development with US Wind Inc., told members of the Maryland Senate Finance Committee this week the company signed a letter of intent with Salisbury-based Devreco to establish and operate US Wind’s operation and maintenance facility in Ocean City and its laydown and handling facility at Tradepoint Atlantic in Baltimore.
The O&M facility will eventually provide support services for the 25-year life of the offshore wind farm. Rich told the committee, chaired by Sen. Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton, D-Charles, the wind farm will create nearly 3,000 skilled jobs during the development and construction phase and an additional 4,100 jobs during its 20-year operating period.
US Wind’s project was approved to receive offshore renewable energy credits May 17, 2017. The project, involving the placement of 32 wind turbines 17 miles from Ocean City, will generate approximately 268 Megawatts of energy.
During his testimony, Rich also announced the creation of an Offshore Wind Industry Workforce Development Coalition that will bring the offshore wind companies together with representatives of community colleges, universities, labor unions, minority and local small businesses to create a skilled workforce to support an offshore wind industry for decades to come.
Concluding his testimony, Rich said US Wind is continuing to evaluate emerging turbine technology in an effort to reduce the number of turbine units, while maintaining at least 250 Megawatts of capacity. Recent innovations in turbine technology allow US Wind to consider using turbines that are 8.4MW in size. This would result in decreasing the number of turbines while still complying with the Public Service Commission order, but utilizing the most modern technology available.