Wind Farm Resurrected by Governor's Veto | WYPR

Wind Farm Resurrected by Governor's Veto

May 20, 2014

On Friday, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley used a rare veto to stop legislation that would have delayed (and perhaps killed) the first wind farm proposed for the Delmarva Peninsula.

The decision means the 50-turbine, $200 million Great Bay wind farm in Somerset County can move ahead without a 15-month delay endorsed by the Maryland General Assembly last month.  

Texas-based developers Pioneer Green Energy had warned that such a delay would have effectively killed their project, because it would mean their federal tax credits and land leases would expire.

Maryland's Eastern Shore has been pushing for the wind project, in part because it would mean development in an economically depressed area and lease payments to farmers.

But Southern Maryland lawmakers have been fighting for a delay and more study of whether the whirling blades will interfere with an advanced radar system used to test aircraft at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in St. Mary's County.

O'Malley's veto cut against not only the Maryland General Assembly's vote in favor of a delay, but also the opinions of fellow Democrats Congressman Steny Hoyer (who represents the community around the Patuxent River Naval Air Station) and U.S. Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin.

Environmentalists praised O'Malley for standing up for clean energy, and noted that the veto could enhance his green credentials if he runs in the 2016 Presidential race.