Supporters Urge Passage Of Wind Power Bill

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Hundreds rallied in Annapolis in support of harnessing wind power off the shores of Maryland, but opponents are concerned it will cost you more money.

Kai Jackson explains supporters say it’s all about creating jobs.

There are skeptics who want to see the bottom line before they support it.  Others think it’s a “wind-win” for Marylanders.

You can’t see or touch it but air and wind are all around us, theoretically free for the taking to use for energy.  But it’s harnessing the wind that will put a lasso around the wallets of Marylanders.

“Offshore wind power in particular is critically important to Maryland’s future,” said Tom Carlson, Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

Governor Martin O’Malley is pushing the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2011.  It calls for construction of 400-600 megawatts of wind power off the coast of Ocean City by 2016 using wind-powered turbines.  Supporters rallied in Annapolis Monday, saying it will bring thousands of jobs to the state and generate clean energy.

“Clean energy advocates from across the state are joining with union workers,” said Carlson.

“It actually will create tons of jobs, the wind farms and the transmission lines that will need to be built,” said Vance Ayres, Washington D.C. Building Trades Council. 

Right now, about eight companies are competing to construct the wind turbines.

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  • KottaMan

    The “tons” of jobs that supporters crow about will vanish as soon as turbines are completed. Only a skeleton crew would be needed for maintenance. Each individual turbine needs an area of about 3 acres as well. They are much much larger than the average person realizes. The turbine owners would be free to sell the power to whomever whenever. So, Maryland may not see once ounce of real benefit from this program.

  • ratm33

    I will tell you how to lower our bill. Everyone that has BGE sending them a bill needs to refuse to pay until prices get lowered to a reasonable price. THis will only work if everybody does it though. They will have no choice. We tend to forget we have the power here. We can actually control lots or things that we think we have no control over.

  • Ruth White

    24,000 Americans a year die prematurely because of pollution from coal-fired power plants according to the Am.LungAssoc, and many more have heart attacks and suffer sick days from school and work because of asthma. The negative health and negative economic impact of coal is huge. Maryland is dependent right now on coal for electricity and desperately needs to find clean energy alternatives. Wind is cheap and nonpolluting. Opponents raise a false issue when they say wind is too costly. Electrical bills have skyrocketed in recent years and will continue to go up. Wind is a cheap alternative AND will hold prices steady. Once the turbines are up, the wind is free. People need to question the motivation of opponents of wind. Why are they invested in release methane and mercury emissions that sicken and kill people, poison water and increasing climate change?

    • DB


      Despite the many thousands of turbines installed in the US, and other thousands in other countries, not one coal plant has closed as a result of wind installation.

      Wind plants have no capacity value.

      • DC2003

        Increased demand wouldn’t have anything to do with that … now would it?

      • Chris

        In fact, utilities have dropped plans to build over 150 coal plants because of a combination of energy conservation initiatives and increased use of sustainable energy sources like wind.

      • DB

        “In fact?”

        Show us. Please post a link to the data that shows us that utilities have dropped plans to build 150 coal plants due to increased use of sustainable resources.

  • Mike

    Maintenance of wind turbines is extremely expensive. There will be no savings to the consumer,

  • Herman Glimsher



  • Bernard Mc Kernan

    These turbines are not the panacea everyone thinks including O’Alley!…Huge environmental damage is a concern plus the amount of energy vs the loss of jobs it replaces is more than a wash. 70% of our energy is used for transportation needs so how will this help in flying planes, boats & long haul carriers? A few will make a killing $$$ off of this & that is the same old story. A quick investigation into how many politicians will invest in this boondoggle should reveal true intent.

  • Elizabeth Singer

    Offshore wind energy gives Maryland the opportunity for jobs, clean and renewable energy and price stability. Compared to the true cost of bringing in coal from W.Va., it’s a great value. For our future, we need more sources than coal and nuclear. We should support this modest program for offshore wind.

  • Margo D

    Offshore wind provides both construction and maintenance jobs. We need alternatives to the huge environmental damage caused by mining coal, burning coal and disposing of toxic coal waste. Coal also contributes to numerous health problems. Harvard and Delaware professors found that a 600-megawatt offshore wind park in neighboring Delaware would avoid 200 premature deaths and more than $1 billion in health costs in that state alone.

    • DB


      Can you please point us to the study you mention?

  • DB

    We could build a huge facility to house gerbils running on little exercise wheels hooked up to little generators. Doing so would create many jobs, but what’s the point?

    Since wind is an additive source, with no capacity value, it will never replace traditional generation.

  • TW

    Amazing that Sen. Kittleman would say “nuclear is the way to go” after seeing what happened in Japan.

    • CBS

      Then Senator Kittleman and all who vote pro-nukular will have no problem being sent to Sendai, Japan to help with their 6 perfect nukular power plants. If Kittleman strongly believes nukular energy is safe and healthy for America, then WE THE PEOPLE endorse Kittleman’s direct assistance at ground zero in Japan, and expect all Maryland citizens and politicians who still support nukular energy to go to Japan too, to witness what a BRIGHT, SHINING, RADIANT EXAMPLE that nukular energy is for us all. Sign up here to support nukular energy and we will gladly cheer for you all when your plane flies out of BWI to Japan.

  • Kelsi

    I was a little put-off by that nuclear comment as well :o/

    Rather than pumping more coal into WVa power plants, I would love to see offshore wind. According to a Feb 2010 study:

    “The results of this preliminary study indicate that Maryland’s feasible wind resource off of its Atlantic coast (including both state and federal waters) is large enough to significantly contribute to the electric demand in the state. Using existing, proven technology (monopile; 5 MW turbines) and accounting for various social, environmental, and nautical exclusion zones and conflict areas, Maryland’s available offshore wind resource could provide 67% of the state’s electric load14. As deeper water technology becomes available, Maryland’s offshore wind resource has the capability of providing 179% of the state’s electric load. This resource thus represents an opportunity for Maryland to drastically reduce CO2 emissions by the state’s electric power sector and increase air quality in the region. The large amount of resource available is dependent on our assumed small number of zones excluded due to conflicting uses. Our calculated source size would be reduced if the military or other organization is able to reserve areas for their exclusive use.

    If we take the recent Power Purchase Agreement contract in Delaware as representative, the price of offshore wind power is only moderately higher than fossil fuel electricity. However, if the Deepwater‐Rhode Island price is representative (we have argued it probably is not), then the price is over double the cost of market energy. Clearly the pricing issues need to be better understood. In any case, the price would be expected to drop sharply as the industry develops technically, and as it establishes supply chain and manufacturing in the region. Offshore wind power also generates the RECs needed to meet Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The RPS mandates that 18% of Maryland’s electricity is supplied by Tier 1 renewable energy sources, which includes wind energy, by the end 2022. To meet this goal entirely with offshore wind energy would require the installation f 3.900 MW, or an average of 300 MW per year. Using 5 MW machines, this would amount to the installation of sixty (60) turbines per year for thirteen years. Building out Maryland’s offshore wind potential would also benefit the state’s economy for offshore construction, maintenance, supply chain, and/or turbine manufacturing. Each aspect represents a separate opportunity; including installation, operations and maintenance facilities, which need to be located in proximity to the project. Also, with manufacturing anywhere in the region, some sourcing of turbine components would likely be from Maryland’s manufacturing sector. In contrast, buying fossil electricity from the market, delivered from distant fossil power plants, will not meet environmental goals and is unlikely to have any beneficial effect on the Maryland economy. In sum, Maryland’s offshore wind power potential appears to be very large, on a scale comparable to the entire state’s need for electricity. Development of this resource appears to be the easiest and most cost‐effective way to meet Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard, increase its new electricity generation, and to modernize and diversify its economy.”

    p. 26/27

  • Kelsi

    Any errors above were due to cut/paste issues that I tried to edit for… Please read the study before responding as this was merely the conclusion, not the data leading to the conclusion!

  • DB


    That study is widely known as a blatant example of the political cronyism so rife in Maryland today. See link below which injects reality into the discussion…

  • george smythson

    “Wind is a cheap alternative AND will hold prices steady.”
    If this were really true, you wouldn’t need a bill to force wind power to happen.
    Power companies would build these on their own (in their own self interest (profits)).

    The free market works if you let it.

    • CBS

      YES INDEEDY! That’s right George! You rock!
      The free market is alive and kicking already for offshore wind!
      With FAR more financial resources than many of the largest power companies on the east coast combined….GOOGLE Inc. has purchased the grid for the Mid-Atlantic Bight. They will be connecting each individual state’s efforts from Maine (which will be floating turbines due to shallow waters) down to North Carolina. Several states like MA, DE, NJ, ME, and now MD have the ball rolling for the federal permitting process. Which by the way was 9 years under Bush (oil Co.) as resident-in-thief, streamlined down to 5 years by Obama when he took office as the 1st non-white male President elected by WE THE PEOPLE and not by the not-so-supreme court. And for those other oil lovers out there in la-la-land, remember the Deep Horizon largest ever oil spill in North America? Well that was only ONE (1) of the TWO-THOUSAND (2,000) other offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Which tells us the permitting process for each offshore oil rig must be less than 2 weeks. So obviously it is mainly politics that decides whether one form of energy such as dirty oil needs only 2 weeks to be approved by all necessary federal agencies, or with clean renewable offshore wind, which currently at 5 years to gain permit, will be streamlined likewise to just 2 weeks as well. Oddly enough, you would think that the permitting for offshore oil rigs would now take 5 -9 years after the Deep Horizon single-handeadly destroyed the fish & wildlife of the Gulf of Mexico last year.

  • Scott Baston

    OK… if this bill were to… pass. I’m assuming there would be a traditional gathering to celebrate the onset of construction. But, I’m confused: would this be a ground breaking ceremony, or a wind breaking ceremony?

    • DB

      There would be a lot of that. Let’s start selling methane offset credits.

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