Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has complied the results of surveys
to describe marine mammal presence, distribution and seasonality within
the proposed Maryland Wind Energy Area (WEA) off Ocean City.
Scientists from the Universities of Maryland and Cornell deployed underwater
microphones to record the ambient noise levels and marine mammal calls
between 2014 and 2017. The large whales (fin, humpback, minke, and North
Atlantic right whale) and harbour porpoises were mainly detected from November
to April. Dolphins were most common from April to October within and inshore
of the WEA, whereas they tended to occur more frequently further away from
December to May. The results will help inform regulators so that appropriate
protection and mitigation measures can be developed.
Earlier this year, the state of Maryland enacted the Clean Energy Jobs
Act which aims to increase the state’s current renewable energy targets
from 25% by 2020 to 50% by 2030. Under the act, the state would also be
required to investigate the feasibility of increasing this target to 100%
by 2040. Under the new legislation, new offshore wind farm allocations
are to be executed supporting 400 MW operational by 2026, increasing to
800 MW by 2028 and 1,200 MW by 2030. Maryland is expected to launch its
second offshore wind solicitation, in which projects will seek to qualify
Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs), in January 2020.
For more information on wind farm developments, click
for our interactive map of offshore wind farms, infrastructure and ports.