Federal, state officials sign memorandum to boost wind power in Maryland

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Governor Wes Moore signs a memorandum of understanding that is slated to advance offshore wind development in the state on June 7, 2024, at the State House in Annapolis, Maryland.(Courtesy Office of Governor Wes Moore)

Maryland and federal officials signed an agreement Friday pledging cooperation as they move forward on planning for offshore wind power projects.

The five-page memorandum of understanding will help expand the “green and growing” economic agenda of the Biden-Harris administration, Gov. Wes Moore (D) said at the signing. He said it will also help the state meet its ambitious clean energy targets, which include a goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035.

President Joe Biden has called for the deployment of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power in the U.S. by 2030. So far the presidential administration has approved 10 gigawatts of that goal, according to the Department of the Interior.

The memorandum itself contains few specifics, but commits agencies from both the state and federal government to continue meeting as they work to identify areas for siting and leasing wind turbines in the ocean.

“Offshore wind means new manufacturing jobs, higher wages, and more opportunity to grow wealth for Maryland families,” Moore said in a news release on the agreement. “I’m grateful to the Biden-Harris Administration and all of our partners at the local, state, and federal levels for their partnership in this work.”

Maryland’s agreement is in contrast to other states where offshore wind power has faced pushback. In Texas, for example, plans to establish offshore wind have run into political resistance, according to Inside Climate News.

“With today’s partnership agreement, the Biden-Harris Administration accelerates our work in lock step with key state partners like Maryland to build the American offshore wind industry. cut energy costs for families, and create thousands of good-paying jobs, all while tackling the climate crisis,” White House Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said in the news release.

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