OCEAN CITY -- A future offshore wind energy farm, proposed as close as 10 miles off the coast of Ocean City, inched closer to reality this week with the anticipated passage by the entire state Senate now the only stumbling block from a legislative standpoint.
Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013 was passed last Friday by the House by a vote of 86-48. The Senate Finance Committee passed the legislation by a vote of 7-4 on Tuesday, setting up a final vote before the entire Senate, which is expected to approve the offshore wind bill.
In each of the last two years, the House has approved the governor’s offshore wind initiative, but the stumbling block has been the Senate committee vote. The bill has stalled in the Senate Finance Committee the last two years and the session has expired before a vote could be taken on the Senate floor. However, Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller this year swapped out members of the Finance Committee to ensure the bill’s passage.
Senator Jim Mathias (D-38) said this week he voted for the bill in committee after a couple of amendments he deemed critical to his district were approved. One of the amendments would offer protections to the businesses that use the most energy and would be forced to pay the highest fees.
“We were able to get a couple of good local amendments on the bill before it came out,” he said. “For one, to the extent possible, the Public Service Commission will be required to afford protections to businesses in the state.”
Mathias said another amendment attached to the bill by the Senate Finance Committee would clearly identify where the transmission line would connect the offshore wind field to the mainland. Early recommendations suggested the main transmission line cross over or...
Blewcheese........you're full of Windfarm Fantasy.
Wind turbines 'much less efficient than claimed'
Wind turbines are 25 per cent less effective than the renewable energy industry claims, according to research.
The John Muir Trust (JMT), one of Scotland's leading conservation bodies, has challenged the common assertion that wind farms run at an average of 30 per cent capacity over a year.
A study carried out for the Trust into the energy generated by dozens of wind farms, the majority of which are in Scotland, between November 2009 and last month, found they actually ran at 22 per cent of capacity.
Campaigners insist the figures, drawn from data provided by the National Grid, challenge the role of wind farms as an efficient source of renewable energy.
They said hundreds of wind farms had secured planning permission across Scotland based on inaccurate assumptions of their output.
"This analysis shows that over the course of a year, the average load factor fell well short of what the industry claims, yet the 30 per cent figure is peddled at every public inquiry into a proposed wind farm," said Helen McDade, head of policy at the JMT. "This data is needed to counter that hype."