Ørsted US Offshore Wind is to build Maryland’s – and the US east coast’s – first offshore wind energy staging centre on a site in Baltimore County
The offshore wind industry leader has signed an agreement with Tradepoint Atlantic to establish a facility for offshore wind, a deal that is a major milestone in the development of Ørsted’s Skipjack offshore windfarm 31 km off the coast of the state. It will also be a major boost to expanding Maryland’s offshore wind energy workforce.
Ørsted US Offshore Wind chief operating officer Claus Møller said, “Together with Tradepoint Atlantic, we are making history by developing the first offshore wind staging centre in Maryland. This centre will create good-paying jobs, leverage Tradepoint Atlantic’s outstanding location and logistical assets, and put Maryland on the map as a global offshore wind industry hub.”
The Ørsted staging centre will total 50 acres, including five acres adjacent to Tradepoint’s deepwater inner berth. Ørsted will receive and loadout components at the berth and have up to 45 acres designated for laydown and assembly of components destined for the project site off Maryland’s coast.
The centre advances Ørsted’s commitment to create 1,400 jobs in Maryland as part of the Skipjack offshore windfarm, including 913 jobs measured in full-time equivalents during development and construction and 484 jobs during operation.
Tradepoint Atlantic chief commercial officer Kerry Doyle said, “Today’s announcement is tremendously exciting and important, not only for the further development of Tradepoint Atlantic and Ørsted’s Skipjack project, but for the entire clean and renewable energy sector.
“It represents the first step of many to come in growing the offshore wind industry. Tradepoint Atlantic plans to play a major role in making sure it thrives here in Maryland. Ultimately, because of this new partnership, Tradepoint Atlantic is positioned to become a supply chain leader for offshore wind up and down the east coast, supporting and creating thousands of jobs in the process. Most importantly, it will bring new manufacturing opportunities back to Sparrows Point.”
The agreement is part of Ørsted’s commitment to a US$13.2M investment at Tradepoint Atlantic. Improvements will include strengthening ground bearing capacity at the port to allow heavy-lift cranes and specialised transporters to move wind turbine components from ships onto the site.
The Skipjack windfarm is one of nine Ørsted projects under development or operation on the eastern seaboard. The project was awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits by the Maryland Public Service Commission in 2017. Ørsted plans to begin construction by 2021 with the windfarm coming online in 2022. The company plans to invest approximately US$200M in Maryland.