Maryland’s Offshore Wind Energy Request for Interest Area Total miles of U.S. coastline Atlantic Coast: 32 Estuarine: >4,000 Total spatial area under consideration 366.5 square miles
Activity lead contact information: Catherine McCall Maryland Department of Natural Resources Chesapeake and Coastal Programcmccall@dnr.state.md.ushttp://dnr.maryland.gov/ccp/coastal_resources/oceanplanning/
Activity implementation: Offshore renewable wind energy project planning began in October 2009. The majority of work to identify a wind energy planning area was completed in November 2010 with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement’s (BOEMRE) Maryland Request for Interest (RFI) area announcement in the Federal Register.
Activity status: Ongoing
State(s) involved: Maryland
Regional association involvement: Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO)
Partners: Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), The Nature Conservancy, Towson University Center for GIS, Maryland Energy Administration, NOAA, University of Maryland, BOEMRE.
Activity description: Since 2009, Maryland DNR compiled data and information about habitats, human uses, and resources in Maryland’s Atlantic Ocean to identify potential offshore wind energy areas that facilitate compatible uses and reduce use conflicts and environmental impacts to preserve crucial ecosystem services.
Jurisdictions: Local, state, and federal
Objectives: Economic, environmental, security, social, recreation
Ocean uses to be managed: Fishing, marine transportation, pipelines and cables, ports, recreation, renewable energy, sand and gravel mining, security (military), artificial reefs, shipwrecks
Ocean uses to be considered/analyzed: Fishing, marine transportation, pipelines and cables, ports, recreation, renewable energy, sand and gravel mining, security (military), natural resources/habitats
- Compatible and incompatible uses within the planning area
- Trade-offs among competing uses for ocean areas to reduce conflicts among users
- Synergies among compatible uses for ocean areas to facilitate compatible uses
- Future conditions for offshore wind and future sand borrow areas
- Cumulative impacts of uses within planning area
- Climate change impacts addressed by renewable energy
Additional uses: There are none; however, regional or federal coordination is needed to address data and information gaps and resolve known shipping conflicts in the mid-Atlantic.
Enabling authority: Development of local, state, and federal offshore renewable wind energy task force
Priority legislation: www.boemre.gov/offshore/RenewableEnergy/StateActivities.htm#Maryland
Committed resources: To identify Maryland’s offshore renewable wind energy RFI area, seven full-time staff members assisted with planning efforts over a one-year period. Maryland dedicated financial resources from its coastal zone management grant to this effort to support data compilation, to carry out development and analysis through a partnership with The Nature Conservancy, and to support stakeholder outreach and mapping efforts in 2010.
Public participation: Involved in all stages of the planning process
Plan evaluation and adaptation process: Any updates to the offshore wind energy RFI area will be made by BOEMRE, which is the entity responsible for activities in federal waters. Revisions are not mandated by legislation at this time.
Next Steps: In anticipation of the development of offshore renewable wind energy facilities throughout the region in the coming years, Maryland has identified plans to undertake coastal and marine spatial planning activities within state ocean waters in the coming years to evaluate potential routes for nearshore transmission interconnections as they relate to natural resource and human use activities.
Additional information: In addition to the mapping and data collection efforts described above, Maryland worked to engage stakeholders throughout the RFI planning process. To raise public awareness about offshore wind energy development and to expand the list of data, Maryland began working with stakeholders in April 2010. Two open houses were conducted for the public in Annapolis and in Ocean City/Berlin. Information on offshore wind energy, project timelines, the anticipated leasing process, and the opportunity for community response was presented. More than 75 stakeholders attended and engaged in a discussion about the future of the ocean and the state’s ocean mapping and planning efforts.
Stakeholders unable to attend the open house were able to participate via the Virtual Open House website (http://dnr.maryland.gov/ccp/coastal_resources/oceanplanning), which provides access to all of the information displayed at the open houses and access to an online public comment database. Scoping meetings and one-on-one interviews were conducted with targeted stakeholders, such as commercial and recreational fishermen and resource managers, to collect local community knowledge and to gather information on historical, current, and future uses. Maps were distributed to stakeholders so they could delineate areas of interest or concern in the ocean. User-group meetings were held to review existing ocean maps and to edit and identify areas in a group setting. These stakeholder opportunities helped identify and avoid a number of potential conflicts early in the planning process.
Through development of the Maryland Coastal Atlas, DNR used the information gathered through the outreach activities and data compilation efforts to ensure that the RFI development process addressed the issues raised by the stakeholders and resource experts. Overall, Maryland’s ocean planning efforts to date have resulted in the collection of site-specific ocean use and natural resource data; identification of knowledge gaps and research needs; a better understanding of the breadth of ocean uses and potential areas of conflict; and early discussions with stakeholder groups to establish a transparent ocean planning process.
- DE gets authority from EPA for offshore wind permitting
Delaware has been given the authority by the EPA to enforce and implement offshore wind permitting related to air quality – after adopting the federal requirements back in June. This is the first time that a state program has been delegated authority of the rule. The first action that
- US accelerates lease for Delaware offshore project – Wind
The decision follows a determination by the agency that there is no competitive interest for commercial wind energy development in this area of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), precluding the need for competitive bidding. “This is another major step forward in tapping the enormous offshore wind potential of the Atlantic coast,” says Interior Secretary Ken
- New Jersey advances offshore wind development – Wind
“New Jersey is trying to be a leader in offshore wind,” Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), tells Recharge. “This request is to find what interest is out there. We want to get past the lip service part of it.” The request, known as a Call for Nominations, is
- Satellite Maps from NASA Being Used to Reveal Ideal Locations for Wind Farms
Efforts to harness the energy potential of Earth’s ocean winds could soon gain an important new tool. Global satellite maps from NASA. Scientists have been creating maps using nearly a decade of data from NASA’s QuikSCAT satellite that reveal ocean areas where winds could produce wind energy. The new maps have many potential uses
- U.S. Government Puts Offshore Wind on Fast Track: Scientific American
OFFSHORE WIND: The U.S. Department of Interior will attempt to help speed development of offshore wind projects. Image: Photograph by g_heyde, courtesy Flickr Interior Secretary Ken Salazar tried to give an adrenaline shot to the U.S. offshore wind industry yesterday by speeding up the process for developers to obtain leases from the federal government.