Maryland Governor Wes Moore on Wednesday announced goals to more than quadruple the state's offshore wind capacity to 8.5 gigawatts - enough to power nearly three million homes - as part of an effort by the state to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035.
Moore is working "to establish new lease areas and strengthen the offshore wind supply chain," as well as establish grants to support the effort, the governor's office said in a statement.
Maryland is among a growing number of U.S. states to set plans to achieve entirely carbon-free energy in the coming years.
There are currently proposals to build over 6,100 MW of offshore wind off Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia over the next six years, according to federal energy data, including almost 1,000 MW off Maryland by Skipjack Offshore En4ergy LLC.
Although energy firms have proposed building offshore wind projects in the United States for more than two decades, there are only about 41 megawatts (MW) of total offshore wind capacity, located off the Rhode Island and Virginia coasts.
For comparison, the United States has about 1.146 million megawatts of total generation, according to federal energy data.
A timeline for Maryland's newly proposed wind power capacity was not immediately clear.
As part of the initiative, the former site of the Bethlehem Steel plant in Baltimore will be utilized as a logistics hub for wind turbines, which Moore said would result in the creation of 15,000 jobs.
(Reuters - Reporting by Laila Kearney and Scott Disavino)