Offshore Wind Expands to Maryland
A 2,000-acre abandoned steel plant in Sparrows Point, Maryland, will become the first wind turbine manufacturing plant in the state.
The new owner, US Wind, is investing more than $150 million into the global logistics center.
But revitalizing the plant is just one part of Maryland’s new wind power initiative.
The job that instigated the redevelopment is called the MarWin project. And it will be Maryland’s first offshore wind farm.
Developed by US Wind, MarWin is located about 17 miles from the shore of Ocean City, Maryland.
It will cost around $75 million to build. And it will consist of 22 turbines (built at Tradepoint Atlantic, of course) that will provide 270 megawatts (MW) of power.
That’s enough to light up and run 80,000 homes. And because wind power does not emit harmful greenhouse gases, the amount of carbon dioxide not produced as a result will be the equivalent of taking 140,000 cars off the road.
The wind farm is expected to begin producing power in 2024.
But Maryland has even bigger plans ahead.
Next to MarWin is another offshore wind farm in the planning stages called Momentum Wind. It will be an installation of 1,200 MW, also produced by US Wind.
Bigger Is Better
The location of the new Tradepoint Atlantic production site is perfect. It has 4 miles of waterfront on the Chesapeake Bay.
That’s important because everything about offshore wind turbines is big. Really big.
Compared with land-based turbines, offshore wind turbines are colossal.
For example, in 2019, General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced its Haliade-X. That’s a 14-MW offshore turbine.
And this past February, Vestas Wind Systems (OTC: VWDRY) announced its V236 offshore turbine. It’s a 15-MW monster.
Its rotor’s diameter is 774 feet. One sweep of its three, 379-foot blades covers an area of nearly 11 acres.
Needless to say, transporting these giant components over roads is a nonstarter.
They have to be made next to port facilities. There, they can be loaded and secured to special ships designed to carry them.
Luckily, US Wind was prepared for this. Of the $150 million it is investing in Tradepoint Atlantic, $75 million will build a 90-acre deployment port.
It’s great to see an old steel plant being reborn as an offshore wind logistics depot. And it will bring thousands of jobs to the Baltimore area.
Investors who want to include offshore wind in their renewable energy portfolios may want to consider shares of one of the big turbine manufacturers mentioned above.
It’s BIG business (pun intended). And it’s just getting started here in the U.S.
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