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Key Votes

HB 441 - Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012 - Key Vote

Maryland Key Votes

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Legislation - Referred to Committee (Senate) -
Legislation - Bill Passed (House) (88-47) - (Key vote)

Title: Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that establishes the Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit, amends the state's renewable portfolio standard to include energy generated by offshore wind projects, and authorizes utilities to increase rates for customers, effective June 1, 2012.

Highlights:
  • Establishes the Maryland Offshore Wind Renewable Energy Credit (OREC) that provides a renewable energy credit equal to 1 megawatt-hour of electricity that is derived from offshore wind energy (Sec. 1).
  • Defines “offshore wind energy” as energy generated by a qualified offshore wind project (Sec. 1).
  • Defines “qualified offshore wind project” as a wind turbine electricity generation facility that is located between 10 and 30 miles off the coast of Maryland on the outer continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean in an area designated for leasing by the United States Department of the Interior (Sec. 1).
  • Prohibits the Public Service Commission from approving the application of a proposed offshore wind project unless the projects meets certain criteria including, but not limited to, the following (Sec. 1):
    • The proposed project demonstrates positive net economic, environmental, and health benefits to the state;
    • The projected net rate increase for an average residential customer does not exceed $1.50 per month;
    • The projected net rate increase for an average non-residential customer does not exceed  1.5 percent of the customer's total annual electric bills; and
    • The proposed price of the renewable energy credit does not exceed $190 per megawatt-hour.
  • Amends the state's renewable energy portfolio standard to include 2.5 percent from offshore wind energy beginning in 2017, whereas existing law did not include energy from offshore wind projects in the renewable portfolio standard (Sec. 1).
  • Requires each electricity supplier to purchase the number of ORECs required to satisfy the offshore wind energy component of the state's renewable energy portfolio standard (Sec. 1).
  • Limits the amount of retail electricity sales that may be applied to the state's renewable energy portfolio standard to no more than 75 million kilowatt-hours of industrial process load per customer and no more than 3,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month to an agricultural landowner (Sec. 1).
  • Requires qualified offshore wind projects to pass along to customers at least 80 percent of the value of any state or federal grants, rebates, tax credits, loan guarantees, or other similar benefits (Sec. 1).
  • Requires approved offshore wind energy projects to deposit $2 million into the Maryland Offshore Wind Business Development Fund within 60 days of the approval date, another $2 million within 1 year of the first deposit, and an additional $2 million within 2 years of the first deposit (Sec. 1).
  • Exempts the construction and installation of qualified submerged renewable energy lines from  environmental regulations, provided that the project does not result in any significant permanent environmental damage to the Beach Erosion Control District (Sec. 1).
  • Defines “qualified submerged renewable energy line” as a line that carries electricity from a qualified offshore wind project to the transmission system and in which the portions of the line crossing any part of a Beach Erosion Control District are buried or submerged (Sec. 2).
  • Prohibits the installation of qualified submerged renewable energy lines within the Assateague National Seashore Park or the Assateague State Park (Sec. 1).
Legislation - Introduced (House) -

Title: Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012

Note:

NOTE: THIS IS A BILL PROPOSED BY THE GOVERNOR AND/OR AGENCIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, AND THEREFORE THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, MINORITY LEADER, OR COMMITTEE CHAIR ARE LISTED AS AN OFFICIAL SPONSOR, BUT IT IS NOT A PROPOSAL OFFERED BY THOSE OFFICIALS.

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