Feds, Maryland Sign MOU on Offshore Wind Development

June 10, 2024 by Dan McCue
Feds, Maryland Sign MOU on Offshore Wind Development

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Maryland to support the coordinated development of offshore wind energy generation.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was signed last week, the agency and the state will continue ongoing efforts to explore and identify potential areas for offshore wind leasing. 

As part of that effort, the bureau will also continue to convene the Central Atlantic Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force with the state and other stakeholders to enhance collaboration and address challenges associated with the siting of offshore wind leasing areas. 

These efforts will support and augment existing and planned coordination for developing offshore wind energy in the Central Atlantic. 

President Joe Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said the new partnership agreement will accelerate efforts to build the American offshore wind energy industry, while also cutting energy costs and creating thousands of good paying jobs.

Zaidi went on to say that the administration will continue to work closely with Maryland to responsibly develop additional areas for offshore wind leasing in the Central Atlantic and grow this industry. 

BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein said the agreement solidifies her agency’s partnership with Maryland, and will go a long way to ensuring the creation of a robust offshore wind energy sector that also can successfully coexist with other ocean users.

The deal follows a December 2023 agreement between the White House, several federal departments, U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore, to work jointly to evaluate additional areas off Maryland’s shores that could become wind energy areas and support the development of offshore wind projects.  

Since the start of the Biden administration, the Interior Department has approved the nation’s first eight commercial scale offshore wind projects, held four offshore wind lease auctions — including a record-breaking sale offshore New York and New Jersey, a sale offshore the Carolinas, and the first-ever sales offshore the Pacific and Gulf Coasts — and advanced the process to establish additional wind energy areas in Oregon, the Gulf of Maine and the Central Atlantic. 

The department has also taken steps to grow a sustainable offshore wind industry by encouraging the use of project labor agreements, strengthening workforce training, bolstering a domestic supply chain, and through enhanced engagement with tribes, fisheries, underserved communities and ocean users. 

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
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