Worcester County Plans for Wind Turbines in 2017 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Worcester County Plans for Wind Turbines in 2017

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OCEAN CITY, Md.- Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the dotted line for offshore wind energy in Maryland on Tuesday.

About 40 turbines are set to go up 30 miles off the coast of Ocean City.     

"What's next is now the regulatory approval by the Maryland Public Service Commission and the federal Department of the Interior actually will be auctioning off the development rights for about 79,000," explained Bill Badger, who is the economic development director for Worcester County. 

Abigail Hopper, who is the governor's energy advisor, told WBOC that once those turbines are up and running it will not cost more than $1.50 for the average consumer.

Hopper added that the plans for this to happen are for 2017.

"There are 12 companies that have expressed interest and some of them range in as small privately held companies that are trying to develop off shore winds here in America," Hopper said.

Badger said that in addition to creating renewable energy, the development is expected to also create at least 1,000 jobs.

"Those will be in manufacturing service supply and maintenance and that process is going to take time. For example, to build 100 wind turbines, it takes three years," Badger said.

Some people like Margie Sicio said they are not sure if they want the plans to go through.

"I just don't think it is going to make that much difference in making the environment greener and saving the environment," Sicio said. "When you come to the beach you just want to see the water. You want to see the ships running by and the view on a clear day. Also when you see windmills going, that would just distracting." 

Barbara Jernigan said she's familiar with how turbines work since she lives near one at Crisfield High School in Somerset County.

"We see it running every day and it's apparently producing enough energy to take care of the school's needs," Jernigan said. "If they are good for the economy, then I think they are good for the environment, because we need some other source than fuel oil and coal and electric power."

The total economic impact of offshore wind over five years will be nearly $1.3 billion.


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