The Department of the Interior announced in early July that nearly 80,000 acres offshore Maryland will be offered for commercial wind energy development in an August 19, 2014 competitive lease sale.
“Maryland is a leading force for building a clean and sustainable energy future,” said Jewell. “Thanks to Governor O’Malley’s leadership and significant stakeholder involvement through BOEM’s Maryland Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force, we have reached another milestone as we strengthen our nation’s foothold in the new energy frontier.”
Sixteen companies have qualified to participate in the auction for the Maryland Wind Energy Area. According to analysis prepared by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, if fully developed, the Maryland Wind Energy Area could support between 850 and 1450 megawatts of commercial wind generation, enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.
Under the terms of the Final Sale Notice (FSN), which were published in the Federal Register on July 3, the Maryland Wind Energy Area will be auctioned as two leases, referred to as the North Lease Area (32,737 acres) and the South Lease Area (46,970 acres). The Wind Energy Area is located about 10 nautical miles off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland. The area available for auction is identical to the one announced in the Proposed Sale Notice that BOEM published in the Federal Register on Dec. 18, 2013, which was followed by a 60-day public comment period.