US Wind kicks off Maryland lease surveys

In: Windfarms

Maryland-based offshore wind developer US Wind, Inc. (US Wind) has launched oceanographic survey activities within its Maryland offshore lease area. A team of scientists and other experts will collect data from April to July 2021 to inform the project design, including foundation type, turbine location, and cable burial routes.

"These seabed surveys are an important next step in our commitment to providing Maryland with clean, renewable energy,"
said Jeff Grybowski, US Wind CEO. "Data collected will ensure safe and long-term operations and performance of our offshore wind facilities."

The geophysical survey operations will be conducted along a tartan-pattern survey grid by U.S. marine research vessels R/V Brooks McCall and the R/V Miss Emma McCall. Operated by TDI-Brooks, Inc., both vessels are designed to execute geophysical surveys for offshore hazard and site clearance assessments, cable routing, seafloor mapping, fisheries habitat mapping, and burial assessment studies.

US Wind stated that it has already begun an extensive outreach effort to local fishermen to inform them of these survey activities. Dedicated fisheries outreach specialists from Sea Risk Solutions will also regularly provide updates on the vessels' scheduled activities. There will be no restriction on fishing in the offshore wind lease area due to these survey activities.

US Wind is also implementing extensive efforts to minimize impacts on marine life during survey operations. Expert Protected Species Observers will be aboard each vessel to monitor for the presence of protected species, such as the North Atlantic Right Whale, and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to protect these species.

US Wind acquired an 80,000-acre federal lease area off of the coast of Maryland in 2014. In 2017, the company was awarded Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs) from the State of Maryland for the first phase of its
MarWin project.

In total, the company’s lease area can support approximately 1.5 GW of offshore wind energy capacity. In 2019, Maryland passed the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which increased the state’s offshore wind energy requirements, calling for an additional 1.2 GW to be procured from developers with projects near the state’s coast.

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