ANNAPOLIS, Md.—MAREC Action, a coalition representing utility-scale wind, solar and energy storage businesses active in the Mid-Atlantic states, issued the following statement congratulating Maryland’s General Assembly on today’s passage of the Promoting Offshore Wind Energy Resources Act (“POWER Act”), HB793/SB781.

“The POWER Act establishes a comprehensive strategy to plan, connect, and deploy offshore wind at the scale necessary to support supply chain investments and decarbonize Maryland’s economy at the lowest possible cost to Marylanders. MAREC Action congratulates and thanks the Maryland General Assembly, its leadership, and the bill’s prime sponsors Del. Lorig Charkoudian and Sen. Katie Fry Hester, for reclaiming national leadership in offshore wind and establishing a first-in-the-region initiative to proactively plan a 21st century transmission grid. MAREC Action and our membership, comprised of Maryland’s utility-scale renewable energy industry, look forward to working with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Public Service Commission to analyze and implement this groundbreaking legislation.” – Evan Vaughan, Deputy Director, MAREC Action.

The POWER Act—supported by a broad coalition of business groups, the clean energy industry, environmental organizations, and organized labor—takes necessary steps to codify and implement Governor Wes Moore’s recently announced target of 8.5 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind power procurement as well as the Climate Solutions Now Act of 2021. Thanks to the Governor’s leadership and the thorough work of Maryland’s General Assembly, the state is well positioned to meet the Climate Solutions Now Act’s economy-wide decarbonization goal and become a hub for offshore wind in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Key provisions of the legislation include:

  • Setting a long-term goal of 8.5 GW of offshore wind, inclusive of Maryland’s existing 2 GW of Round 1 and 2 OREC awards.
  • Taking responsible, pro-active steps to prepare Maryland’s power grid for decarbonization. The legislation accomplishes this by authorizing the Public Service Commission and Maryland Energy Administration to request that PJM Interconnection (the regional power grid operator for Maryland) studies and subsequently holds a competitive solicitation for transmission upgrades and expansion. The new lines would function like a power strip, necessary to plug in offshore wind at the least cost and disruption. In a first for the Mid-Atlantic region, the POWER Act enables Maryland agencies to proactively seek out transmission planning coordination with neighboring states. A similar transmission solicitation in New Jersey saved ratepayers $900 million compared to the cost of transmission without utilizing a coordinated approach.
  • Authorizing the Maryland Department of General Services (DGS) to procure up to 5 million megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity from existing lease areas off the coast of Maryland. This represents roughly 1 GW of new capacity that would be acquired by the State of Maryland through a 20-year contract. The energy and renewable energy credits purchased would power all state operations, and any excess will be offered back into the wholesale market. This allows more offshore wind to be built in the medium term at no cost to ratepayers. The bill does not specify a procurement mechanism for the remaining offshore wind, allowing for future General Assemblies to build on the DGS procurement, ORECs, or consider another approach to procurement.

Expanding Maryland’s offshore wind goal from 2 GW to 8.5 GW will, in total, generate enough clean energy to power roughly 3 million Maryland homes every year (which is more than all the homes in Maryland!). Establishing this long-term goal for offshore wind also supports the burgeoning clean energy supply chain, will accelerate the Baltimore region’s effort to reclaim its place as a steel and manufacturing hub, and will create economic opportunities for Maryland businesses of all sizes, as well as businesses owned by people of color, women, and veterans. The POWER Act also significantly strengthens organized labor provisions, ensuring collective bargaining and labor peace at offshore wind projects.


MAREC Action (MAREC informally stands for “Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition”) is a 501.c4 non-profit dedicated to the growth of renewable energy technologies that improve our environment, diversify our electricity generation portfolio, and boost economic development in the PJM grid region. Our mission is to improve and enhance the opportunities for renewable energy development in ten jurisdictions in the PJM region in and around the Mid-Atlantic, specifically:  Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  We provide education and expertise on the economic benefits and environmental sustainability of wind and solar energy; offer technical expertise and advice on operating and integrating wind and solar into the electrical power system; and promote fair policies, rules and regulations to expand the region’s electric transmission system to accommodate the growth of renewable energy usage.