A very good study on the potential of offshore wind for the state of Maryland. This was in the Baltimore Sun by Timothy Wheeler last month. Excerpts below.
Offshore wind energy can furnish Marylanders with as much as two-thirds of the electricity they currently use, and if aggressively developed, could turn the state into a net exporter of power, a new report by the Abell Foundation says.
About 2,900 wind turbines could be placed using current technology in relatively shallow Atlantic waters 28 miles to 43 miles off the Maryland coast, according to the report, which was written by researchers at the University of Delaware’s Center for Carbon-free Power Integration. As many as 12,000 turbines ultimately could be deployed, the researchers say, as new wind generators are developed that can operate in deeper ocean waters, including on floating platforms.
The Abell report acknowledges that the number of turbines that could be potentially installed might need to be pared back by as much as a third to leave lanes for ships entering or exiting Delaware Bay and traversing the coast. The Delaware researchers also suggest keeping the turbines at least nine miles off the coast to limit their visibility from the resort hotels and boardwalk of Ocean City and from the beach at Assateague National Seashore. Bluewater Wind, a New Jersey firm, has proposed putting turbines at least 12 miles off the Delaware and Maryland coasts.
“If Maryland is really going to use that resource, you would need to build some kind of transmission,” said Willett Kempton, a Delaware professor and director of its carbon-free energy center. But major upgrades in the grid would not be needed to handle modest amounts of offshore wind to start, he noted.