On April 9, 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law the Maryland Offshore Energy Act of 2013 (House Bill 226), which took effect on June 1, 2013. The Act contains a number of provisions for a “qualified offshore wind project” that
- is located on the outer continental shelf, between 10 and 30 miles off the Maryland coast, in an area that is designated for leasing by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management within the U.S. Department of the Interior,
- interconnects to the PJM Interconnection grid at a point located on the Delmarva peninsula, and
- is approved by the Public Service Commission (“Commission”).
Among its key provisions, the Act:
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- Creates a “carve-out” for offshore wind energy in Maryland’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, beginning in 2017 and extending beyond 2022, for up to 2.5% of total retail sales.
- Establishes an application and review process for proposed offshore wind projects to be conducted by the Public Service Commission.
- Specifies a maximum price and maximum projected rate impacts for residential and nonresidential electric customers.
- Establishes a Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund and Advisory Committee within the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to promote emerging businesses related to offshore wind.
- Establishes a Clean Energy Program Task Force and a Clean Energy Technical Education Task Force.
- Establishes an escrow account to ensure the transparent transfer of Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (“ORECs”) between offshore wind generators and electric suppliers.
In response to the Maryland Offshore Energy Act of 2013, the Commission initiated Rulemaking 51 to adopt revisions to the Code of Maryland Regulations (“COMAR”) 20.51 and 20.61. Commission Staff, with the aid of outside legal, commercial, and technical consultants, submitted recommendations regarding offshore wind project application requirements, evaluation criteria, and selection processes that were presented to the Commission in hearings on May 8 and 12, 2014. The Commission also heard testimony with recommendations from interested parties. The Commission convened another Rulemaking 51 hearing on August 26, 2014 to hear additional testimony and resolve remaining questions. At the conclusion of that hearing, the Commission adopted the Offshore Wind regulations as published in the Maryland Register on July 11, 2014 (COMAR 20.51.01, 02, and 03; COMAR 20.61.01, 04, and 06).
The Commission has commenced the process to receive and evaluate offshore wind project applications and to select a project (or projects) to purchase ORECs for Maryland ratepayers. To assist in this effort, the Commission has retained Levitan & Associates, Inc., who designed this website to (i) disseminate documents and other information to potential bidders and other interested parties, (ii) facilitate answering questions and exchanging information with bidders and other interested parties, and (iii) provide secure portals for bidders to submit confidential applications, including OREC Price Schedules.
News and Highlights
- The Maryland PSC announced a Technical Conference to be held on September 19, 2018 in the 16th Floor Hearing Room regarding the next steps by load-serving entities (“LSEs”) to implement the State’s RPS offshore wind energy carve-out.
- Skipjack and US Wind notified the Commission on May 24 and 25, 2017, respectively, that they accept the conditions of approval attached to Order No. 88192 as Appendix A (US Wind) and Appendix B (Skipjack). Skipjack’s and US Wind’s notifications can be viewed on the MD PSC website as items numbers 122 and 123, respectively.
Monday, 3/13/17 - Tuesday, 3/28/17
- The Maryland Public Service Commission held hearings in Case No. 9431 for a Proposed Offshore Wind Project(s). Applicants US Wind, Inc. and Skipjack Offshore Energy, as well as LAI, responded to questions from intervenors, Staff, and the Commission regarding the potential in-state power market, economic, and environmental impacts of their proposed projects. LAI’s revised report (public version) can be found here (item 85).
Both applicants submitted updated OREC price schedules in response to a bench data request from the Commission. LAI’s updated net ratepayer impact tables can be found here (items 93 and 101). Unless extended, an order will be issued no later than May 17, 2017.