Apollo-Backed US Wind Seeks Approval for Turbines off Maryland

Source: By Josh Saul, Bloomberg • Posted: Wednesday, August 4, 2021

US Wind Inc. has submitted a bid to Maryland regulators to build a massive wind farm off the state’s shoreline, the latest proposal for such projects off the East Coast and a potential step closer to the Biden administration’s goal of eliminating carbon emissions from power plants.

The Momentum Wind farm would include up to 82 turbines producing about 1.2 gigawatts of power at full capacity, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Baltimore, Maryland-based US Wind also plans a steel-fabrication facility near the port city to build the foundations for its offshore turbines.

State regulators are also weighing a competing bid from Denmark’s Orsted AS, the world’s biggest offshore wind power developer. Officials could award permission to build the entire 1,200 megawatts to one company or split the approval between them. Both are already building smaller projects in the area.

The bid to build a wind farm producing as much electricity as a big natural gas or coal plant without any of the planet-warming carbon emissions comes after the Biden administration set ambitious goals to dramatically boost such sources by 2030. It’s also part of a larger global push for sea-based turbines by companies and countries aiming to cut emissions from power generation.

Apollo Global Management Inc. bought a stake last year in US Wind, which is majority-owned by a unit of Italian infrastructure builder Toto Holding SpA.

US Wind Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Grybowski expects Maryland officials will announce their decision on the approval by year-end.

“I want to win no matter who the competition is,” Grybowski, a former co-head of Orsted’s U.S. offshore wind business, said in an interview Tuesday. “This is an industry that’s on the verge of taking off.”

(Updates to add CEO comments in final two paragraphs.)