Wind Farm Project Off the Coast of Maryland and Delaware Moves Ahead
The proposed turbine array is the first offshore wind farm in the state of Maryland, potentially consisting of up to 121 turbines and 2,000 megawatts of power capacity. The proposal was made by US Wind (majority-owned by Italian renewables developer Renexia) and is slated for construction ten nautical miles from Maryland and nine miles from Delaware’s Atlantic shore.
US Wind acquired the 80,000-acre federal lease area on the Outer Continental Shelf in 2014. In 2021, the state of Maryland approved the 808 MW Momentum Wind project, granting the developer Offshore Renewable Energy Credits (ORECs).
Purpose of the Delmarva Wind Farm
- Create a robust national offshore wind industry
- Provide electricity to approximately 650,000 homes in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia each year
- Fulfill and maintain renewable energy standards set by the state of Maryland and the federal government
- Produce utility-scale power to the region’s electrical grid
- Create high-paying jobs for local industry workers and create new economic development opportunities in the state
- Diversify the nation’s energy portfolio
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Phase One of the MarWin Project Could Be Up and Running by 2024
Phase one of the project, known as MarWin, will involve constructing and commissioning a 270-MW wind farm set to go online in 2024. Countless Jones Act workers will be employed to bring materials to and from ports, ferry power employees to turbines, and navigate the narrow and unpredictable waters surrounding the wind farm.
Concerns Raised About the Delmarva Wind Farm
- Construction and maintenance safety. The short commission deadline means that a lot of dangerous procedures will have to take place in a short period. Increased traffic, heavy equipment, and navigation problems increase the risk of Jones Act injuries traveling to and from and working alongside ocean wind generation equipment at wind farms.
- Fishing rights. Fishermen have objected strenuously to the survey work by the developers’ geotechnical contractors, claiming the survey has damaged their gear and denied them the use of their fishing grounds. Fishers can lodge official complaints about the environmental and commercial impact of the wind farm until the end of July.
- Tourism effects. US Wind has proposed four offshore substation platforms and up to four offshore export cable corridors to transfer power to land-based generators. The cables are projected to come ashore at 3 R’s Beach at Delaware Seashore State Park and the seaside resort of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, potentially impacting summer tourism.
- Future projects. US Wind’s lease area enables the company to develop a complex of between 1.1 GW and 2 GW of wind projects. Once the first hundred turbines are complete, the company is free to install subsequent developments within its control area.
Offshore Wind Farms Are a Common Site for Maritime Accidents
While renewable energy generation can bring jobs, clean power, and income to Maryland and neighboring states, it also carries inherent dangers. Employers must safeguard their workers’ health and safety during the installation and operation of wind power structures. When accidents happen near or on wind farms, employees may be owed benefits under the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), or general maritime law.
If you or someone you know has been injured while ferrying personnel or equipment between land and an offshore wind turbine, we can help. Call us at 1-800-3-MAY-DAY or fill out our online contact form to begin your no-obligation consultation. You can also learn more about these types of claims in our complimentary guide, Are You a Seaman Injured in a Maritime Accident? Know Your Rights.