By Stetson Miller

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Just 13 miles off the coast of Ocean City sits a little yellow buoy with a big mission.

It’s a big milestone for the very first wind farm project that’s set to be built just off the coast of Maryland.

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This project has been a long time in the making, starting out back in 2015, but the buoy means Maryland is one step closer to a greener future.

“This buoy is jam-packed with instruments we’re measuring everything from bats and birds to fish and the waves and the wind.”

Its job is to help the US Wind study the water around it as they get ready to build the new marine wind farm, and its deployment last week was a big moment for the project that’s been in planning for the last six years.

“It really marks a really substantial step forward in the development of this project which will be the biggest clean energy project in all of Maryland.”

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The company’s CEO, Jeff Grybowski, says the data they’ll collect from the buoy will help them determine how strong wind is and the size of waves to help them design the wind farm.

They’ll also get information about the fish and birds that live there so they protect them, and it will all happen over the next two years.

“By the end of that time period, we’ll have a very good idea of what that offshore site looks like.”

This wind farm has faced some criticism from Ocean City officials who say they support offshore wind farms, but would rather this one be set up at least 30 miles offshore so it can’t be seen.

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Construction is expected to start on this in 2023.

Stetson Miller