Offshore wind farm Skipjack 2 project in the next phase, public commentary needed to move forward

MARYLAND – A project said to power 250,000 homes, create 2,000 jobs, and bring a future of clean energy for generations. The bid for Orsted and U.S Wind’s offshore wind farm project is being reviewed, and in this important next step for the approval of the project, voices from the community. “These public comment sessions are about bringing this new industry to life through the development of Skipjack wind,” says Brady Walker, the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Manager for Orsted.

The offshore wind farm would be 20 miles off the coast of Maryland, specifically, Ocean City. The developers tell 47 ABC, the proposal would do more than just bring clean energy, it would promote business development, and economic recovery. “Create opportunities for businesses to support supply chain activities, to support operations and maintenance of the wind farm and the long term,” says Walker.

However, taking it a step even further, the question still remains, why exactly is this project so important? According to Walker, the long term impact for the project is what they hope Marylanders can focus on. He says, “The commitments we’ve made to communities, to facilities to create jobs that are going to last throughout the development, the operations, and ultimately the decommissioning of the wind farm.”

To understand just how much of an impact this would have, the Public Service Commission of Maryland is asking residents to weigh in. According to Tori Leonard, the communications Director for PSC, opinions could be the deciding factor on moving forward. In a statement she says, “The Commissioners understand that members of the public may want to express their support or opposition to the projects based on sightlines of the turbines from Ocean City, perceived impacts on tourism and property values, potential for creation of jobs and economic development, the environmental attributes of the projects and how they may factor in to Maryland’s aggressive clean energy goals.”

Even though the Skipjack project may be an eye sore to some but those with Orsted say, it’s not what it looks like on the outside, but what it looks like for the future. “Trying to make sure people understand what the opportunities will look like, also standing up those partnerships that are really going to help us with this very important work over the next years,” says Walker.

Walker also tells 47 ABC, the project could be approved as early as this December, and work for the project would begin some time in 2022.

The hearings will be held on Tuesday, September 28th at 6 p.m. and Thursday, September 30th at 6 p.m. You have until noon this Friday, the 24th to email the commission’s office to let them know you want to speak at the meeting.

You can email, and in the subject line of the email, write “wind Speaker”; and within the text of the email, indicate the day on which you wish to speak.

Anyone wishing to observe the live stream of the public hearings may do so via the Commission’s YouTube channel.

Categories: Local News, Local Politics, Maryland