Developers take steps toward erecting turbines in Md. 

Source: By Timothy B. Wheeler, Baltimore Sun, • Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The winners of a federal wind energy lease auction have begun surveying the Atlantic Ocean floor near Ocean City, Md., as part of a first step toward building a wind farm there.

U.S. Wind Inc. has also set up offices in a Baltimore high-rise, where executives are working to design turbines and attract financing.

“This is the development phase,” U.S. Wind manager Paul Rich said. Rich has previously worked with Deepwater Wind on developing a five-turbine farm off Rhode Island.

Rich has met with suppliers and servicers for the project, as well as stakeholders like state and local governments and Ocean City fishermen.

The survey work taking place will help U.S. Wind engineers determine where to place the 68 turbines that will make up the 500-megawatt wind farm.

Rich said his company is very “bullish” about making the wind farm a reality. The largest obstacle in their way is financing for the project, which could cost $2.3 billion to build.

In Maryland, local businesses eagerly await the arrival of the wind farm, which they say will help grow the local economy.

“We’d love to have more progress sooner, obviously,” said Liz Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “We’d love to have turbines in the water next week if we could, but we understand that it takes time, and [it’s important] that they do the process right”.