The Maryland Public Service Commission has awarded offshore wind renewable energy credits (OREC) to two power projects to be constructed off the coast of Maryland, US.

Awarded to developers US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy, the ORECs will see the companies building two wind energy plants with a total installed capacity of 368MW.

Expected to generate more than $1.8bn of in-state spending, the two projects will create opportunities for approximately 9,700 new direct and indirect jobs, as well as contribute $74m in state tax revenues over a period of 20 years.

Maryland Public Service Commission's chairman Kevin Hughes said: “The approval today of the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind projects brings to fruition the general assembly’s efforts to establish Maryland as a regional hub for this burgeoning industry.

“We have taken great care to ensure that this decision maximises economic and environmental benefits to the state while minimising costs to Maryland ratepayers.”

"We have taken great care to ensure that this decision maximises economic and environmental benefits to the state."

Each company has awarded ORECs at a levelised price of $131.93 per MWh for 20 years, commencing in January 2021 for US Wind and January 2023 for Skipjack Offshore Energy.

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While the project to be built by US Wind will have an installed capacity of 248MW and comprise 62 wind turbines, the 15-turbine facility to be constructed by Skipjack will have a capacity of 120MW.

The $1.375bn US Wind facility is expected to be operational in early 2020, while the operation of the $720m Skipjack wind power project is anticipated to begin near the end of 2022.

The two facilities are expected to reduce carbon emissions by a minimum of 19,000t each year for 20 years, helping Maryland reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.