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Maryland Energy Administration Director Tung Declares Offshore Wind is Maryland’s ‘Space Race’

Annapolis, MD – Maryland Energy Administration’s Director, Mary Beth Tung, PhD, JD, gave the keynote address at the opening of the 2017 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF) in Annapolis, MD. Dr. Tung stated that Maryland is dedicated to becoming a supply chain hub for offshore wind, challenging the industry to reduce costs and declared that offshore wind is Maryland’s ‘Space Race’.

The IPF is hosted by Business Network for Offshore Wind, celebrates its fourth year with nearly 500 attendees. IPF is the premier technical conference for offshore wind in the U.S. and the largest event of its kind in America. Dr. Tung welcomed attendees and affirmed that “Maryland is Open for Business” to offshore wind.

Dr. Tung challenged the U.S. offshore wind industry, saying “The State of Maryland challenges you to find ways to lower cost of energy for offshore wind projects reaching final investment decisions to $100/MWh by 2025.” [The current U.S. Average LCOE (2016 $/MWh) for Plants Entering Service in 2022 is $157.4/MWh according to U.S. Energy Information Administration.] She continued, “I know we can accomplish this goal, offshore wind is Maryland’s ‘Space Race’ and we have the perfect mix of stakeholders right here at this event, between the government, industry trade groups and private companies to make wind energy financially sustainable for Maryland rate payers.”

“I am confident we can reach the goal of $100/MWh, thanks to competition and market innovation,” stated Tung. “In fact, it has already been proven, the companies applying for Maryland’s offshore wind RFP are offering a cost that is 30% lower than the mandated State cap,” confirmed Tung.

Offshore wind will bring new revenue streams and countless job and training opportunities to the State. Maryland is committed to lowering the cost of offshore wind by leveraging the State’s unique assets to establish a supply chain hub. Maryland is strategically located at the heart of the mid-Atlantic and its Port of Baltimore is one of America’s busiest international deep-water ports, now equipped with supersized Panamax cargo cranes and 50-foot-deep channels. This protected port is serviced by railways, major highways, and international airports.

There are more than 1,300 businesses working in and around the port, employing thousands of Marylanders, which present an opportunity to employee even more Marylanders and serve as a potential resource to support the offshore wind industry. In addition, Maryland is home to a number of companies in defense, robotics, and information technology industries which regularly partner with Maryland’s academic centers of excellence to drive innovation and cost reductions in the offshore wind industry.

Dr. Tung also announced two new grant programs to help prepare Maryland’s local businesses entering the offshore wind industry and to help prepare Maryland’s labor force. The Offshore Wind Business Development Grant Program supports Maryland’s emerging businesses, including minority owned emerging businesses looking to participate in the global offshore wind industry. The Offshore Wind Workforce Development Grant Program will provide grant funding on a competitive basis to ensure Maryland has a ready and able workforce capable of contributing to the construction, installation, and operations & maintenance of an offshore wind energy project. For more about both of these grants, visit the agency website, www.Energy.Maryland.gov or contact Wind Program Manager, Samuel Beirne at 410-537-4000.

Dr. Tung closed out her remarks by telling the conference attendees that, “Maryland is the home of the offshore wind industry supply chain and that we are Open for Business.” The IPF runs from April 19 – 21 and offers information sessions and panels by offshore wind industry experts from around the globe.

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Maryland Energy Administration On behalf of Governor Hogan the mission of the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) is to promote affordable, reliable and cleaner energy for the benefit of all Marylanders.  To achieve its mission, Maryland Energy Administration advises the Governor, General Assembly on matters relating to energy policy.  Maryland Energy Administration administers grant and loan programs to encourage clean energy technologies in all sectors of Maryland’s economy: Residential, Commercial, Agricultural, and Transportation. For more information about the Maryland Energy Administration, visit www.energy.maryland.gov.

 

About the Business Network for Offshore Wind
The Business Network for Offshore Wind is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to establishing a U.S. offshore wind supply chain. The Network is focused on delivering education, creating partnerships and advancing the industry. All membership and event proceeds are invested back into supporting the industry by helping the Network continue programmatic education, and develop the tools and networks necessary to create a U.S. offshore wind supply chain. The Network hosts the annual International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF), the #1 technical conference for offshore wind in the United States dedicated to moving the industry forward.