Mary­land’s windy bounty

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Kevin Kri­escher, Bal­ti­more

Hur­ray for Mary­land as it pro­gresses to­ward mak­ing 20 per­cent of its en­ergy re­new­able by 2022. Two fed­eral leases for wind farms have al­ready been awarded — one for 187 off­shore tur­bines near Ocean City that will pro­duce 750 megawatts and one 17 nau­ti­cal miles north­east of Ocean City that will pro­duce 120 megawatts. The Mary­land Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­mis­sion must now re­view the el­i­gi­bil­ity of each project for Re­new­able En­ergy Cred­its, a state sub­sidy funded partly by en­ergy con­sumers. Ap­proval for both is ex­pected in May (“Two off­shore wind projects to be con­sid­ered by Mary­land reg­u­la­tors,” Nov. 23).

We have only to gain from th­ese mam­moth projects. The 750 megawatt project alone pro­duces enough elec­tric­ity to power 500,000 homes. Imag­ine what kind of pol­lu­tion would we be man­u­fac­tur­ing if we were to do the same with coal, gas or in­cin­er­a­tion? Wind is as clean as en­ergy comes, and com­plaints such as “Wind­mills ob­struct my view of the hori­zon,” are lu­di­crous. So you pre­fer views that are ob­structed by smog from dirty en­ergy?

There are many jobs to be filled not only in con­struc­tion (steel, etc.) but in the con­tin­ued op­er­a­tion and main­tenance of wind farms — far more than in frack­ing and coal in­dus­tries. Such po­ten­tial growth is one of the many rea­sons to make sure that Gov. Larry Ho­gan’s veto of the Clean En­ergy Jobs Act in 2016 is over­rid­den in Mary­land’s up­com­ing leg­isla­tive ses­sion. Com­plaints about sub­si­dies for off­shore wind com­ing out of con­sumers’ pock­ets are also lu­di­crous be­cause more em­ploy­ment and less med­i­cal bills put money into our pock­ets. We look for­ward to more wind farms on the At­lantic Coast.

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