OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland’s Public Service Commission has approved a request from an energy company to use larger turbines as part of an offshore wind farm near Ocean City.
On Thursday, the commission approved Skipjack Offshore Energy’s selection of the General Electric Haliade-X 12 MW turbines as part of the wind farm project.
In the 28-page decision, the PSC said while the turbines will increase in size, with a tip height of up to 853 feet instead of 641 feet, the larger turbines will reduce the number needed from 15 to 12 or fewer.
The project has drawn concerns from town officials over its visual impacts in the tourist destination. On its website, the town said it supports “green and unseen wind farms.”
The commission declined the town’s request to move turbines 33 miles offshore to minimize visual impact, citing a number of laws that require offshore wind farms to be between 10 and 30 miles from the coast.
It also found Skipjack’s stakeholder outreach efforts to be “deficient” and ordered the company to re-engage with stakeholders and update the commission on its efforts every six months.