80,000 acres off Md. coast to be auctioned in August

Source: Jessica Estepa, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 3, 2014

Nearly 80,000 acres in Maryland will be auctioned for offshore wind development in August, federal and state officials announced today.Located about 10 nautical miles from Ocean City, Md., the Maryland Wind Energy Area will be auctioned Aug. 19 as two leases. The north area covers 32,737 acres, while the south area comprises 46,970 acres. If fully developed, the area would generate enough electricity to power 300,000 homes.Sixteen companies have qualified to participate in the auction. The sale will take place using an online bidding system.

“Maryland is a leading force for building a clean and sustainable energy future,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement. “We have reached another milestone as we strengthen our nation’s foothold in the new energy frontier.”

Jewell, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and then-Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Director Tommy Beaudreau announced the auction late last year (Greenwire, Dec. 17, 2013).

It is part of an ongoing push by the Obama administration to generate commercial wind energy along the Atlantic Coast. Leases have so far been awarded for areas off Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Virginia. BOEM plans to hold competitive auctions for other offshore areas in Massachusetts and New Jersey within the next year.