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Environment and Climate change stories from WYPR

Governor Moore signs POWER Act to push wind energy in Maryland

 Governor Wes Moore speaking at Tradepoint Atlantic Friday before signing offshore wind expansion bill. Photo by John Lee/WYPR
John Lee/WYPR
Governor Wes Moore speaking before at Tradepoint Atlantic Friday before signing offshore wind expansion bill.

Governor Wes Moore Friday afternoon signed legislation he believes will help make Maryland the offshore wind capital of the U.S.

The POWER Act sets a goal for the state to quadruple the amount of wind offshore energy produced in the state by 2031.

The governor signed the bill at Tradepoint Atlantic, the global distribution center in Eastern Baltimore County. Tradepoint is where Bethlehem Steel once was, at its peak employing 30,000 people before it withered away.

“Maryland steel led the American economy in the 20th century,” Moore said. “I want Maryland wind to lead the American economy in the 21st century.”

If the target goal of 8.5 gigawatts of offshore wind power is reached, the governor said that would be enough juice for three million homes.

Tradepoint was selected for the bill signing because a couple of companies plan to build and assemble parts there for wind turbines.

Along with Friday’s bill signing, officials announced that the company Orsted is building a facility at Tradepoint to make specialized wind turbine components.

“Union trade people will assemble them into the foundation components that will be shipped out to our wind farms,” said Davdid Hardy, CEO of Americas at Orsted.

The facility will employ 125 people and is expected to open later this year.

Orsted is developing the 966-megawatt Skipjack wind farm off the Maryland coast. The company estimates Skipjack will produce enough power for nearly 300,000 homes.

U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen said the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provided tax credits, which are essential to making the Orsted project happen.

“We’re investing in clean energy and we’re investing in jobs,” Van Hollen said.

During the bill signing ceremony, Governor Moore also signed legislation that sets zero emission standards for medium and heavy duty trucks.

John Lee is a reporter for WYPR covering Baltimore County. @JohnWesleyLee2
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